Russell Earl Horton


(Mar. 28, 2009)

Russell Earl Horton, 69, died on Saturday, March 28 at the Wyoming Retirement Center in Basin.

He was born on Oct. 17, 1939 in Ainsworth, Neb. to O. W. and Emma Horton. He resided in the Burlington/Otto area for much of his life. He attended school in Greybull and graduated from Greybull High School in 1957. He was active in 4-H and FFA.  He graduated in 1962 with a degree in education from Chadron State College in Nebraska. He was participated in the Rodeo-Ag Club, Sigma Tau Gamma and C Club in college.

He married Virginia Ruth Stevenson on February 24, 1962.  Two boys, Wayne Ray and Curtis Russell, were born and raised during their 20-year marriage.

Russell taught school in Burlington and Manderson and in Fairbanks, Alaska. At age 26, he enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve his country during the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged as an officer. He also served in the Army National Guard.

After his discharge, Russell worked as a ranch manager in Meeteetse and on the family farm near Otto, while raising his family. Russell worked multiple jobs in addition to farming just to make ends meet.

While working as a federal crop adjustor in Montana, Russell met and married Dorothy Klath, a Canadian, in 1987. They were married for 11 years. He drove truck for Dan Brown Trucking for several years. Russell had a special passion for horses and trained many excellent ones over the years. Russell was a member of the Emblem Zion Lutheran Church, which he attended with his mother, Emma.

Russell is survived by his first wife, Virginia Horton; sons, Wayne and Curtis; second wife, Dorothy Klath; sisters, Lola ZumBrunnen and Berna Dene Waddell; brothers, Darrell, Dennis and Stan; and six grandchildren.

Russell had a saying that was told to him and that he often passed on to others: “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best”. A memorial service will be held at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull on Friday, April 10 at 11 a.m., with pastors Tim Trippel and Mike Meredith as co-officiants. Services will be followed by a Veteran’s Military Honor Ceremony at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull.  A meal for family and friends will follow at the Greybull BPOE Elks Lodge #1431 immediately following the interment services.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. is in charge of arrangements.