Doris M. Horton
BENNINGTON- Doris Marie (Rigby) Horton died peacefully in her home at Brookdale Fillmore Pond in the morning of Friday, February 28, eight days after her 90th birthday.
Mrs. Horton is reunited with her husband of 65 years, Robert (Bob) Henry Horton, and her son, Matthew Francis Horton. She and Bob lived in southern Vermont, near their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, for the past 20 years.
Mrs. Horton was the middle child of Mary Agnes Moran and James Frank Rigby, with an older sister, Joyce, and a younger brother, Jimmy. She was born on February 19, 1930 and lived her early years in East Milton, MA, south of Boston, where her father worked for RCA. The family moved first to Westchester County, NY, and then settled in Greenwich, CT. She attended the College of New Rochelle and the University of Connecticut, where she was part of a group of friends who would sing songs and dance, with Bob at the piano. After she left UConn, their friendship grew into deep and abiding love. They were married on June 30, 1951 and settled in Bob’s hometown, Hebron, CT. Over the next years she focused on raising seven children, while also earning her teacher’s certification from Eastern Connecticut State University, and teaching elementary school, first at Andover Elementary School and later with Bob at Lebanon Elementary School. Life was a full, rich, and sometimes challenging feat of choreography, which she managed with precision and grace.
Mrs. Horton was a dancer. She started ballet when she was 4 years old and continued lessons throughout high school. Later, she was often a member of the dance cast in shows, and she returned to practicing ballet in her retirement. She also loved swing dancing the jitterbug and foxtrot. A love of music and dancing remained a constant, and she and Bob were major players in community theater ensembles in Hebron and Manchester, CT, and Wilmington.
Mrs. Horton was also active behind the scenes, setting the stage with care so that others could shine. She sewed costumes for countless shows at Memorial Hall in Wilmington and maintained the costume collection with the exactitude of a librarian or accountant. Her precision and generosity came together with a keen focus on empowering others. One might see her sorting donations at Twice Blessed, sewing hygiene kits for Shining Hope for Communities, or knitting hats for premature infants. She enriched communities with her energy and kindness, and her determination to make things better, for everyone.
Mrs. Horton is survived by six children: one son, Paul Horton, of Middletown, CT; and five daughters, Kathleen Horton, of Greenwich, NY, Karen Horton, of Wilmington, Bethany Morelli, of Bronxville, NY, Marietta Formanek, of Manchester Center, and Sarah Horton, of Freuchie, Scotland. She also leaves Matthew’s widow, Nathalie Horton Peltier, of Hebron, CT, and a large and loving extended family with 13 grandchildren: Jessica, Jack, Charlie, Stefan, Abigail, Anthony, Ben, Sabina, Peter, Maggie, Elena, Nicolás, and Ricardo; and three great-grandchildren, Alice, Matthew, and Ava.
At family gatherings, she would gather everyone together, hands clasped, heads bowed, hearts overflowing, to say grace. Her family will miss her in those moments, and so many more. But they see her in each other and in the grace she extended to all whose lives she touched.