CAPT Charles B. Horton, USN, passed away on Sunday, February 4, 2018, in Fernandina Beach, Florida, at age 83. He succumbed to complications from pneumonia.
Charlie was born in Dunbar, WV, December 27, 1934, the only child of Charles B. Horton and Fern Garrett Horton. After graduating from high school in 1953, he attended the University of Cincinnati’s School of Architecture, and joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. In 1956 he entered the Navy to pursue his dream of being a Navy pilot. While in training, he joined the Naval Aviation Cadet Choir, and traveled the country for performances including an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. His dream of being a pilot was cut short after suffering a perforated ear drum. He was transferred to enlisted rank aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid as a navigator. In 1958, Charlie was released from active duty in the Navy and moved to Hollywood, CA where he worked as a technical illustrator and met the love of his life, Peggy Eudine Rowe. Charlie and Peggy were married in 1961. While in Hollywood, he pursued another passion, acting, notably performing with Ted Knight and Bernie Kopell. He continued his education at the University of West Virginia, where he obtained his Doctorate of Dental Science in 1967. Always an excellent student, he never ended his education; he eventually obtained his Masters of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from George Washington University.
Re-entering the Navy as a Lieutenant, Charlie and Peggy embarked on a new life together. During his long career, he served at bases across the southeast and overseas, including Naples, Italy, and Okinawa, Japan. He served as the Executive Officer of the Naval Dental Command in Okinawa, and again in Parris Island, SC. He was promoted to Commanding Officer of the Jacksonville Naval Dental Center in 1991, where he commanded eight clinics across the southeast. His last two years in the Navy were served in Norfolk, VA as Deputy Atlantic Fleet Dental Officer. CAPT Charles B. Horton, the consummate officer and gentleman, retired proudly from the Navy in 1996 after nearly 32 years of distinguished active duty service.
After the Navy, Charlie and Peggy returned to Fernandina Beach, FL, a special place for them, where they had previously lived for several years beginning in 1979. He was a charter member of the Amelia Community Theatre in 1981. Directing and acting in plays became his main avocation. He had brief roles in the movies “The Sunshine State” and “The Diary of Preston Plummer”, both filmed on Amelia Island. He was a member of the Memorial United Methodist Church in Fernandina Beach where he sang with the Chancel Choir and the MUMC Ensemble.
Charlie is survived by Peggy, his wife of 56 years and lifelong love. He is also survived by his three sons, Chris, Jeff, and Chad, daughers-in-law Jenny and Susan, and his seven grandchildren, Jenna, Chase, Sebryn, Slaton, Ashley, Lindsey, and Blake. He leaves behind his cousin and childhood friend Dr. Robert Raynes and his wife Madelyn Raynes, and his sister-in-law Jane Bond and her husband Dr. Wayne Bond. His passing is deeply mourned by his extended family and countless friends.
Visitation will be Thursday, February 8, 2018, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Oxley-Heard Funeral Home.
His funeral service will be held Friday, February 9, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Memorial United Methodist Church, and burial with Military Funeral Honors at Bosque Bello Cemetery.
A reception will immediately follow the burial at the Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Amelia Community Theater, 209 Cedar Street, Fernandina Beach FL 32034 or Fernandina Beach United Methodist Church, 601 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach FL, 32034.