When Samuel was born on January 18, 1937, he was blessed with God fearing parents Sam and Ietta Mitchell Horton who, by example, taught Christian values, integrity and ingenuity that resulted in a solid and caring family environment. His parents were highly respected among friends and neighbors in the Curtis Community.
He confessed his faith in Christ at a tender age where he united with Mt. Friendship Baptist Church. He attended and received his high school diploma from Peake High School.
In 1954 at the age of 18 he enlisted into the United States Air Force and was stationed at the Hamilton AFB in California. Sam gave his most productive years to the service of his country and was dedicated to the preservation of peace throughout the world.
During his tour of service he was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award and the Good Conduct Medal. In September of 1974 he retired as Technical Sergeant from the United States Air Force after twenty years of service.
Sam met Bernis Stroughter and their love blossomed into marriage on September 3, 1962. She was his sweetheart and one true love; and together they laid a solid foundation for family life based on love, commitment, and Christian values. They later became proud parents of two caring and devoted children: Felicia and Sam, Jr. They made many sacrifices to raise and nurture their children.
Sam made history in Clark County by being hired as the first black deputy sheriff. He later worked as a bail bonds man and as a probation officer. He united with Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church under the pastorate of Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr.
After 76 seasons of life he received his blessing of immortality on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. He was welcomed home by his parents, his beloved wife, Bernis (April 2011), his brother Maurice (Sept. 2010) and sister Henry Etta (Jan. 2013).He leaves to celebrate and honor his life’s journey: two children, Felicia Todd Curtis, AR, and Samuel, Horton, Jr., of Pine Bluff; five grandchildren, Ronika Horton, Michael Horton, X’zavior Todd, Brittany Gulley, and Shanika Horton; three great-grandchildren, Tyriauna Tate, Sariyah Banks and Javion Banks; His siblings Donald Horton of Curtis, Arkansas, Mattie (Floyd) Armstrong of Chicago, IL, Jerry Horton of McKinney, TX, and Barbara (Clarence) Smith of Wichita, Kansas.
He also leaves his mother-in-law, Bernice Stroughter of Hope; his sisters-in-law, Katryne S. Horton of Pine Bluff; Lorene (James) Goza of Kansas City, Missouri and Joycene Knox of San Francisco, California; Patricia Jones of Indianapolis, IN, who was loved like a sister; one brother-in-law, George (Alice) Stroughter of Hope, a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins, countless friends and the Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church family.
Visitation will be Saturday from 2 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and the family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the funeral home.
The last farewell will be held on Sunday, October 20th at 2:00 p.m. at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr., as the celebrant. The body will lie in repose one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Ietta Horton Memorial Scholarship at Henderson State University. The committal service and final resting place will be in Mt. Friendship Cemetery in Curtis, Arkansas with full military honors.