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David James Horton Jr.

November 14, 1955 - June 11, 2021

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 24 at 2:00 p.m. at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home. Visitation will be on Wednesday, June 23 from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Pine Lawn Memorial Park.

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David James Horton Jr., our beloved friend, finished his 65th earthly trip around the sun on June 11th, 2021. He passed peacefully at home, while his beloved wife, Cindy, read him passages from the Bible. She’d just finished reading Ecclesiastes 3, and in the comfort of those beautiful words of God’s perfect timing, read by the loveliest voice he knew, he found it was his time, and breathed his last.

Dave was born at Ellsworth Airforce Base in Rapid City, South Dakota on November 14th, 1955, to David James Sr. and Bonnie Lou Horton. He was a career Auto Body and Insurance Claims Adjuster, and had an endless passion for cars and mechanics. Any time anyone had a car problem or trouble of any kind, ‘the man with the plan,’ was there to help. He felt great purpose when helping others, and finding creative solutions to their problems. He was incredibly knowledgeable, on a broad range of subjects, a ‘jack-of-all trades,’ a ‘fixer’ through and through.

He loved traveling, the open road, and racked up thousands of miles, driving to appraise car damage following big storms all over the Western U.S. From the Redwoods of California, to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, every mile travelled left a mark on his soul.

One of his most cherished experiences was seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time. He drove his car right on the beach, chucked off his shoes, rolled up his pants, and walked straight to the shore. As the waves licked his sand sunken feet, he laughed, and marveled at the wonder of this world. He appreciated this world in a unique way; blossoming as a late in life writer and poet, his work reflecting his experiences and the profound beauty of his being.

Dave was a man of quiet greatness. He didn’t have a wall of degrees, an extravagant lifestyle, or that ‘million dollars’ he always asked for when you offered to pick him up something from any store. He was, however, the self proclaimed ‘richest man in the world,’ because he knew the immeasurable value of how loved he was.

He treasured love. And oh how tremendous it felt to be loved by Dave, and to love him in return. He brought joy to all who encountered him, his infectious laughter and clever witticisms left a wake of smiles in his path. He was a loving son, devoted husband, beloved brother, remarkable father, doting grandfather, and unconditional friend above all.

Dave is survived by his loving father David J. Horton Sr., his favorite sister Tammy (Greg) Murray, wife, Cindy Lynn Horton, ten children, twenty-four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. His children are: Tina Bettelyoun, David James Horton III, Amanda Cook, Darcie Horton, Sarah (Scott) Snyder, Michael (Tammy) Horton, Amy (Justin) Riss, Jennifer Horton, Rachael Horton, Cassandra (Josh Thurman) Horton. His Grandchildren are: Isiah and Samatha Bettelyoun (Tina), Brianna, David IV, Harley, & Trinity Horton (David III), Katelyn & Brett Cook (Amanda), Angela & Michael Fruit (Darcie), Hayley, Ethan, Ashten, Avery, & Corbyn Horton (Michael) Anthony, Isabella, Mercedes, & Bailey Riss (Amy), Dash & Arianna Horton (Rachael) Josh, Riley, Emilia Thurman (Cassie).

He is also survived by two chihuahuas, Molly and Shuli, two of his closest companions, he never wanted in the first place.

He was preceded in death by his adoring mother, Bonnie Lou Horton, his first wife, Mary Kesser, his grandson Noah Cook, his granddaughter, Kholie Thurman, and his faithful dog Itsy, (another chihuahua).

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