David S. Horton of North Truro and Naples, Fla. died on Aug. 26, 2022 at Cape Cod Hospital. The cause was acute respiratory failure. David was 78.
The son of the late Sumner and Mary (Molly) Horton, David was born in Boston on Oct. 28, 1943. He grew up in Truro in the shadow of the Highland Light in a small dwelling called “Adams House,” now the pro shop at Highland Links.
“There was nothing to do,” he wrote in a brief biographical note, “nothing at all. Desolate.” Nonetheless, his bond to the lighthouse, sand, and sea came to shape much of his life.
He loved to walk the beach with his collie, looking for arrowheads and other artifacts, including a practice bomb, a drone launched from Camp Wellfleet, and shoes: “So many shoes after the Andrea Doria went down.” His most exciting find was a stone tomahawk head, currently in the Truro Museum. Such beach adventures sparked his interest in local history.
He attended Provincetown High and played on its basketball team, which meant staying with a family in Provincetown because transportation back to Truro after practices was not available. He graduated in 1961.
David then joined the Coast Guard, partly because he had loved helping local Coast Guardsmen work the light in the lighthouse, said his wife.
He spent four years in the service, mostly on board the CGC Bibb, and held the rank of Quartermaster 3. Upon his discharge, he enrolled at Fitchburg State College, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. A 30-year career teaching elementary school children with special needs in the Fitchburg Public Schools followed.
David met his wife, Kathy, at the new teacher reception in his first week on the job. They married four years later.
David supported the Special Olympics for 15 years as a coach and primary administrator. He also owned and operated Horton’s Trucking and Rubbish Removal in North Truro.
David was a Master in the Fraternal Order of Freemasons, belonging to King Hiram’s Lodge in Provincetown, and a Shriner, belonging to the Araba Shrine Temple in Fort Myers, Fla. He was also a member of the American Legion and the VFW, both in Provincetown.
David’s knowledge of the Highland Light was unsurpassed, and he shared this lore with many over the years. Many acquaintances in Florida fondly remember his historical talks from their visits to Truro.
“He was,” Kathy said, “famous among tourists,” just as he was among his neighbors and friends. He was honored as a Truro Living Legacy by the Truro Historical Society in 2016.
David is survived by his wife of 41 years, Kathy, his son, Kenneth Horton and wife Maggie Akers of Brewster, and his daughter Amy and husband Bill Redihan of Orleans. He was the proud “Bumpa” of his grandchildren, Ryan and Courtney Redihan of Orleans.
David was predeceased by his brother, Robert Horton.
Family and friends are invited to a celebration of David’s life on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the Christian Union Church in North Truro. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Truro Historical Society, P.O. Box 486, Truro 02666, the Truro Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 2013, Truro 02666, or to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607.
For online condolences visit: nickersonfunerals.com.