As Memorial Day approaches, Marvin and I grieve for one of our own Blount Countians who went to be with the Lord this past year. He was a neighbor, friend, and personal mentor to both of us.
When we moved to Blount County seven years ago, the first person to greet us was our neighbor across the street, Mr. Voyt Horton. He was a wealthy storehouse of knowledge about the community. When we mentioned how we admired the covered bridges in the area, he shared about the old Horton grist mill and how the family supplied lumber for the Horton Mill Bridge. He knew who was related to whom, and how they came to live here. One of our favorite stories was about how he walked to school at Enterprise, on a hill just up highway 42. It was on those walks that he met the love of his life, Miss Virgie.
On our last visit with him at the nursing home, he reminisced about his home church, Lebanon, and then asked where we attended church. When Marvin replied that we go to Union Hill, he replied, “You would have made a good Methodist.”
He was a master craftsman who could fix any gate latch, or make a new one if needed. If you could describe it or draw it, he could make it. He knew all about airplanes and ships, especially those used during the war. He would see a piece of furniture as he was traveling, then come home and make it. We are so privileged to have in our family room several pieces of fine furniture made by him.
Mr. Horton was also a veteran of World War II. He was there at the liberation of one of the death camps. As the caring, compassionate gentleman he was, it literally broke his heart to see the horror that occurred there. He would weep as he shared pictures and memories of his experiences during the war.
So, on this day that we set aside to remember our heroes, we both honor and remember one of our own. We truly miss him.
Marvin and Jackie Wade