Willie Clifton Horton, Sr., 80, of Brandon Road, Morganton, NC died Friday, September 10, 2010 at the Burke Hospice Palliative Care Center in Valdese, NC following a period of declining health. Born in Cleveland Co., NC on February 28, 1930, he was the son of the late Laton Yates Horton and Blanche Brittain McNeilly. Clifton was a member of Morganton First Church of God where he had served on the Board of Trustees and was an usher and bus driver. He attended Morganton High School and joined the U.S. Navy in 1949. He served for twenty-two years during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. After his service he graduated from Western Piedmont Community College and Gardner-Webb College at the age of 52. Clifton received his bachelor degree in social sciences. He earned his degree while working at the Western Youth Institute and continued his employment there until his retirement in 1997.Clifton is survived by his wife of 58 years, Frances Dale Horton of the home; children, Beth Horton Walker and husband, Wayne, Willie C. "Sonny" Horton, Jr. and wife, Robin, Douglas Britt Horton and wife, Carol, and SFC Frank Joseph Horton and wife, Kristen, all of Morganton; grandchildren, Wesley Dellinger and wife, Dawn, of Houston, TX, Scott Dellinger of Charlotte, NC, and Lisa Cresawn, Christina Cresawn, Jason R. Hill, Joshua Horton, Donald William Horton, and Molly Horton, all of Morganton; great-grandchildren, Maddie Grace Dellinger, Ashira Reid, and Simeon Reid; a brother, L.A. "Alton" Horton and wife, Elizabeth, of Morganton; a step-sister, Josephine Pitts and husband, Abe, of Glen Alpine, NC; a sister-in-law, Mikki McNeilly of Morganton; and numerous nephews and nieces.In addition to his parents, Clifton was preceded in death by his step-father, Roy McNeilly; a brother, Harold Lee Horton; and step-brothers, Phillip and Herbert McNeilly.The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, September 13, 2010 at the Morganton First Church of God with Rev. Dr. Donald Blankenship and Rev. Donald Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the church from 9:30 until 11:00 a.m. prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to Morganton First Church of God Building Fund, P.O. Box 1404, Morganton, NC 28680 or to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Road, Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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