Aug 25, 1931 – Apr 29, 2018
William Russell Horton, 86, of Sherwood Park, Alberta, passed away peacefully on April 29, 2018, with Dorothy at his side as he heard the final notes of a cherished Dixieland Jazz recording. Bill was born August 25, 1931 in Toronto, Ontario to Russell and Freda Horton. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Dorothy.
Also surviving him are his sister, Marilyn (Terry) Mokedanz, sons, Bill (Rachelle), Bob (Debbie), Doug (Aileen) and Ron (Nancy) and his grandchildren Ryland, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Russell, William, Rheid (Kent), Kielan and Michael.
He is predeceased by his sister Janet (Ken) Westbrook and brother, Lloyd (Shirley) Horton.
Bill will always be a shining star. He worked hard and knew how to take time to play. At Scarborough Collegiate High School he excelled academically and in athletics. Leaving school in his grade 12 year to work and help support his family, he returned as the star quarterback of the football team. He was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Toronto where, four years later, he would obtain a degree in Mining Engineering and a national championship football title. Marrying Dorothy that same year, the couple set out for Alberta where Bill worked for Imperial Oil and played football for the Calgary Stampeders. His attention to detail and wide-ranging intellect (not to mention a refined and impish sense of humour) fueled a career path that would lead him to chair Alberta’s Public Utilities Board in 1976 and become President of the Canadian Association of Public Utilities Tribunals. In 1984, Bill was recruited by Ron Southern to lead Canadian Utilities as Executive Vice President and later served for many years on the Board of Directors.
Bill was one of the pioneers of Campbelltown, now Sherwood Park, where he and Dorothy made their home in 1958. His involvement in the community spanned several decades and numerous roles ranging from volunteer coach to President of the Sherwood Park Community League. He was instrumental in the planning and building of Sherwood Park’s first arena in the late 1960’s.
Bill loved to spend time with his family and they loved him back. His four sons made sure he spent many hours in arenas and around sports fields. Each year he would gather the family to vacation in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley where he and Dorothy would retire to their dream property in 1991. There, he and Dorothy enjoyed the lake, golfing, sailing and their special times with their beloved grandkids in the summer.
Bill pursued excellence (and attained it) on many fronts; as a student, athlete, professional, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, linguist and, in his forties, as a Dixieland Jazz musician. With no previous musical training but with an innate talent, Bill practiced meticulously and revelled in playing the banjo and singing with the group he co-founded, The Six Pak. Through his ever-thoughtful and inspiring spirit, his memory will live on.
The band’s there to meet us
Old friends there to greet us
Where all the proud and elite folks meet
Heaven on earth, they call it Basin Street
A celebration of Bill Horton’s life will take place at Glenwood Funeral Home (south of Wye Road on Range Road 232 Sherwood Park, Alberta) on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff members of Extendicare Holyrood for their support in his final days.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill may be made to the Strathcona Community Hospital Foundation or to a charity of your choice.