In Memory: Oct. 8

Ret. Colonel Robert Allen Horton 80, Vero Beach

Ret. Colonel Robert Allen Horton 80, beloved husband, father, grandfather, passed away quietly in Vero Beach, on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2020, due to complications of Parkinson’s Disease.

He was the son of Irene and Howard Horton and was born on Dec. 5, 1939, in Providence, R.I.

He spent a lifetime of service to others. Enlisting in the Marine Corp in July of 1958 as a Radio Technician at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was so proud to be a Marine.

Later, he became a Trooper with the Vermont State Police in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Moving up the ranks quickly, promotions took him to Londonderry and Shaftsbury. Then in 1979 he was promoted to Sergeant in Colchester, in charge of Criminal Investigations.

He continued to move through the ranks until in 1984 when he was asked to become Director of the Vermont State Police. Becoming a Major and then Lt Colonel soon after. Then due to his impeccable leadership, he was appointed to become the first Colonel of the Vermont State Police. He retired in 1994.

Service to the community called him back to become to be Chief of Police for the Town of Essex until 2001. After decades of dedication to his Troopers, hundreds of multi state and federal task forces and becoming a pillar in the Law Enforcement community, he finally retired in 2001 after 35 years of service.

A friend to everyone, he enjoyed the serenity and quietness of his cabin on Lake Champlain with his wife. Soon moving to Florida full-time, he enjoyed the communities of New Port Ritchey and eventually calling Vero Beach his home.

As one Commissioner once said, “You visit with him and you immediately like him. He’s very diplomatic, he has leadership qualities, he’s just a nice guy.”

Robert is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Carole-Lee Horton; his son, Christopher R. Horton, of Jupiter, Fla.; daughter, Susan E. Horton, of Stowe, Vt.; and a granddaughter, Mackenzie Horton, of Tampa, Fla.; and many other lifelong friends.

The family will receive friends on Friday, Oct. 9, from 2 – 4 p.m. at Strunk Funeral Home 916 17th St in Vero Beach 772-562-2325.

A memorial service to celebrate his life including military honors provided by the US Marine Corps Honor Guard will follow at 4 p.m.   Reception to immediately follow at the Stoney Brook Farm’s Clubhouse.

Memorial Donations may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or at

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