LELAND — Graveside services for Kenny Otho Horton, 82, a long-time resident of Leland, were held Saturday, May 23, at Leland-Stoneville Cemetery, under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Leland. He died Thursday, May 21, 2020, at his home surrounded by family.
Kenny Otho Horton was born to the late Norman Bertis and Prebol Birdie (Redwine) Horton on Jan. 28, 1938, in Greenwood. He grew up in South Washington County on the banks of the Bogue River that empties into the Sunflower River near Darlove. He attended Arcola and Hollandale Public Schools, graduating in 1957 from Hollandale High School.
Kenny married his high school sweetheart, Marie Courtney, of Stoneville, on June 9, 1957. The newlyweds lived in Greenville, later moving to Scott, where Kenny worked at Delta and Pine Land Company. Several years later, Kenny moved his young family to Midnight to become manager of the Box Estate Plantation. In 1966, Kenny began work for Valley Chemical Company and the family moved to Belzoni and then in 1971 to Leland.
In 1986, Kenny Horton established Horton Ag Services. He was known to many as “Doc”, a name given to him by the Leland farming community. Kenny was quick to tell you he was not an entomologist, yet everyone thought of him as the bug doctor. As his dear friend, Paul Dees, recently said, “Doc had the ability to walk a clean field and find enough bugs to scare my grandfather to death.”
After retirement, Kenny became a full-time cowboy/trail rider. He rode from the Rocky Mountains to the Smokey Mountains and all places in between. He enjoyed the company of many horse/equestrian friends from across the country.
Kenny could be found on most days at “The Store” (Fratesi’s) having breakfast, lunch, or after five o’clock enjoying a cold Coors Lite. He was a friend to everyone, from the baby Fratesis and Smythes, to the youngest Edwards “boys,” to their fathers and grandfathers and of course to his oldest friend, Fred Ballard, that he grew up swimming and playing with on the Bogue banks. Anyone was welcome to share a table with Kenny and was then entertained with stories of his adventures from various trail rides as well as stories about local farmers in the area, including the Potter brothers, Fred Ballard, John Dillard and many other old time farming friends. “Doc” had the gift of being a natural born storyteller and could recount events in such detail that one felt as if they had been there with him.
Kenny was a long-time member of the Leland First Baptist Church. He considered Jon Doler not only his minister but a true friend.
Kenny Horton was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife.
He is survived by his daughters, Darlene Horton Mauceli, Cissy Horton, and Lynn (Wade) McCollum; and son, Kenny Horton Jr. He is also survived by his nine “grands”, Anna Mauceli, Michael Mauceli, Julia Parker, William Trotter, Landry (Jarrett) Powell, Kendall (Chris) Jones, Harper Horton, Courtney McCollum, and James (Haley) McCollum. He also leaves five great-grandchildren. In addition, he leaves behind a special friend, Annette Bobo, of Brandon. Kenny is also survived by two brothers, Billy (Carol) Horton and Bobby (Bonnie) Horton; three nephews; six great-nieces; and one great-nephew.
Pallbearers for the service will be James McCollum, Michael Mauceli, Harper Horton, Jarrett Powell, Peyton Powell, John Shelby Edwards, Zach Edwards, and Cameron Moss.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to First Baptist Church of Leland, or to a favorite charity.