GERALDINE MANGUM HORTON
Geraldine “Jerry” Horton, 101, died peacefully on September 19, 2019 at the Village at Brookwood in Burlington. Born in Burlington on October 1, 1917 to Julia and A. B. Mangum, she treasured her early years in their home on Maple Avenue with them and her four younger sisters, Marie, Alice Blue, Gladys, and Barbara. After graduating from Burlington High School in 1934, she received a Secretarial Degree from Elon College. She then began working as a secretary in the law offices of Cooper, Sanders, and Holt in the Security National Bank building in Burlington.
In May 1942 she married Brewer Tate Horton, an infantry lieutenant who had moved to Burlington after finishing Clemson College. An Army bride, Jerry moved with Tate from Army post to Army post across the South. After Tate’s unit shipped off to the battlefields of Europe, Jerry and their young son, Tate, Jr., moved in with her parents and sisters.
Upon Tate’s release from active duty early in 1946, they established a home in Burlington, where Tate had purchased a small hosiery dyeing company. A daughter, Emily, soon came along, and later another son, Alan. Jerry assisted Tate by doing bookkeeping for the company as long as her responsibilities as a mother, homemaker, church member, and community volunteer permitted.
A life-long member of Burlington’s First Baptist Church, she served on numerous committees, and as president of the Women’s Missionary Union. Active in the PTA while her children attended Burlington’s public schools, she was president of the Hillcrest School PTA and president of the city’s PTA council.
She enjoyed membership in the Burlington Junior Women’s Club, the Burlington Service League, the Alamance County Chapter of the North Carolina Symphony Society, and the Burlington Recreation Commission. A charter member of the Alamance County Recreation Commission, she played a key role in the development of Cedarock Park, and served as a commissioner for 20 years. She was also a charter member, and president of the Women’s Division of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.
Appointed in 1966 by the state’s governor to the Board of Trustees of the Technical Institute of Alamance, the predecessor of the Alamance Community College, she served as a trustee for 26 years, and as a member of the board of its foundation.
Along with Ella Kerr, she assisted in the formation of the local Red Cross Bloodmobile Program, and served as co-chairman of bloodmobile volunteers. She was volunteer liaison for the American National Red Cross with area Red Cross chapters. In 1972, she was recognized as the most outstanding contributor to the program’s success during the past year. Having blood type O-negative, she was a “universal donor” - someone who could give blood to anyone.
Jerry was a “universal donor” of her time as a community volunteer as well. Her leadership in that regard was recognized when she was named Woman of the Year by the local Civitan Club in 1966. She was also honored by the United Way Community Council.
However, Jerry never let community activities interfere with home and family. Jerry and her husband enjoyed traveling together. They visited all fifty states, and toured Canada, much of Europe, and Egypt, Japan, and China.
After having lived happily on Wildwood Lane in Burlington for over fifty years she moved into The Village at Brookwood sixteen years ago. Her family is very grateful for the attentive and loving care she received from its staff during the past few years.
Her devotion to home and family can be summed up in the old saying “Home is my heaven on earth. Heaven will be home and family, or it won’t be heaven.” Predeceased by her husband, Tate, in 1997, she is survived by her three children, Tate Horton, Jr. (Anne), Emily Horton Wood (Steve), and Alan Horton (Pam); by four grandchildren, Bret Horton (Rachel), Tom Wood (Marla), Eveleigh Horton Hughey (Rocky), and Alison Wood Meyer (Charlie); and by twelve great-grandchildren.
Jerry Horton was resolutely cheerful. She could manage to find a way to say something good about anything, however unattractive it might be - or about any situation, however bleak it was. She went out of her way to be nice to everyone; and always had time for others.
Her family will receive friends from 5 pm to 7 pm on Friday, September 27 in The Gathering Place at The Village at Brookwood, located at 1860 Brookwood Ave. in Burlington. A graveside service will be held at Alamance Memorial Park in Burlington on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 11 am.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Building Program, P.O. Box 2686, Burlington, NC 27216, or to the charity of your choice.