The privilege of knowing Barbara Horton was a treasure known to many over the course of her long life. Barb was the seventh and last child born to Clyde and Ethel Lovejoy, arriving among her siblings: Bruce, Doris, Virginia, Betty, Evelyn, and John, on April 11, 1930. All six of her sisters and brothers went on ahead of her, joining their parents in eternity.
Barbara answered that same call on Nov. 30, 2021, as she passed away to reunite with her beloved husband of 58 years, Robert (Bob) Horton, who died on Jan. 31, 2007. High school sweethearts who married in 1948, these two opened their own business – Horton Electric Motor Service – in Athens a few years later, with Barb in the role of bookkeeper for well over 60 years before retiring at the age of 87. The young couple were already parents twice over when they opened the shop doors, with young Bobby and Tom demanding attention, and they added Gary, Karen and Kay as time rolled on.
One of Barb’s most treasured stretches of time revolved around the several years when she and Bob got serious about owning thoroughbred racing horses, culminating in the ownership of the National Sprint Champion and 1976 Eclipse Award-winning Horse of the Year, Gallant Bob. The exploits of the steed afforded Barb and Bob the opportunity to travel all over the country, and even to England, a time she recalled often as “just wonderful.”
Barb was always supportive of her husband’s career decisions, and she spent many a time on the campaign trail or attending events as a member of the Bradford County Republican Women, while Bob served three terms as a County Commissioner.
All the while, Barb ran the business of the household and kept five kids on the straight and narrow. She was known within the family as a creative inventor of words: step out of line or misbehave and you were quickly labeled as a “pinkus-ponkus,” she never was one to use a curse word, but she made her point. “A-dai, Bay-dai, Chickalai, Lickalai” were her invented version of One, Two, Three, Four, in a nonsense language she swore to her brood of kids was Chinese. To this day, several of them can repeat the made-up words all the way to 10.
Few people ever enjoyed playing the slots at a casino as much as Barb, and frequent visits to Atlantic City became a staple for sporadic weekend getaways for her and Bob over the years. Nobody was happier than she when a full-blown casino opened up just nine miles from home.
Barbara Horton, a longtime member of the Athens United Methodist Church, lived a good life, and a full one, leaving Bobby and Ann, Tom and Darlene, Gary and Sue, Karen and Lloyd, and Kay, a legacy of love and decency enough to fill the hearts of 13 grandchildren and more than 20 great-grandchildren. Eternity has called Barb away, but those of us whose lives were shaped or even touched lightly by hers will always hold a bit of her spirit close at hand.
A Time of Visitation for family and friends will be held on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Lowery-Urban Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 225 South Main St., Athens, Pa. Funeral services will follow at the funeral home at 12 p.m. with the Rev. Linda Rogers officiating.
A private burial will be held for the family at Tioga Point Cemetery, Athens, where Barb will be laid next to her beloved husband, Bob.
For those wishing to sign the e-guestbook, send condolences, or flowers, you may do so by visiting www.loweryfuneralhome.com.