Ronald Arthur Horton
November 9, 1936 – June 2, 2019
Ronald “Ron” Arthur Horton died in his home on June 2, 2019 in Greenville, SC due to complications following non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis. He was 82.
Dr. Horton was born on November 9, 1936, in Los Angeles, CA to his parents, Wallace and Jessie Horton. He graduated from Bob Jones University with a degree in English and History in 1958. He received a master’s degree in English in 1961 from the University of California Los Angeles. He completed summer study at the University of Oxford, UK in 1963. He married Martha Dillard Horton in 1968, and she taught English until 2000 with him at Bob Jones University. He was a recipient of a Folger Shakespeare Library Summer Fellowship in 1970. He received his doctoral degree in English (Renaissance Literature) from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1972. He was a recipient of the South Atlantic Modern Library Association Award for a book manuscript in 1976 and was published in 1978 by the University of Georgia Press under the title The Unity of The Faerie Queene. He taught at Bob Jones University from 1960-1966 and1969- 2019 and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1967-1969. At Bob Jones University he was Chair of the Department of English (1969-72) and Division of English (1973-2001). He was Chair of the Department of Professional Writing and Publication 1981-2001 and Chair of the Department of Philosophy 2001-2019. He authored many secondary and college textbooks, many professional articles, and two other books, Mood Tides: Divine Purpose in the Rhythms of Life, Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 2008. Family: The Making and Remaking of a Christian Home, Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 2014 with his last book Mind the Story: The Readerly Reading of Scripture presently in progress to be published by BJU Press in 2019.
His life verse is Psalm 111:10. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.” He wanted to follow God with his whole heart and to judge every idea he encountered in light of what God had said. He faithfully taught his last class this semester and loved and ministered individually to his children and grandchildren until the very end of this life. “...and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” Exodus 17:12.
Dr. Horton is survived by three daughters: Jennifer (Ted) Miller of Greenville; Jocelyn (Dennis) Rafaill of Gross Pointe, Michigan; and Jessica (Bevan) Elliott of Greenville; and eight grandchildren: Henry, Edward, William and Charles Miller, Andrew Rafaill, and Eleanor, Ronald, and Jane Elliott. He was predeceased by his wife, Martha Dillard Horton; his parents, Wallace and Jessie Horton; a granddaughter, Catherine Miller; a sister, Mrs. Carol Jean Brenneman; and a twin brother, Donald Horton.
Online condolences may be left at www.mackeymortuary.com.
Friends may visit the family from 6:00 – 8:00 PM Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at Mackey Funerals and Cremations Century Drive. The funeral service will be held 1:00 PM Thursday, June 6, 2019 in War Memorial Chapel on the campus of Bob Jones University, with burial service immediately following at Graceland East Memorial Park. A memorial service will be held later at Dr. Horton’s church, Trinity Baptist Church in Gaffney, where he faithfully taught and served for 32 years. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Trinity Baptist Church, 907 E. Oneal St., Gaffney, SC 29340, www.tbcgaffney.org. Arrangements by Mackey Funerals and Cremations at Century Drive.
- Jennifer Miller, Daughter
- Ted Miller, Son-in-law
- Jocelyn Rafaill, Daughter
- Dennis Rafaill, Son-in-law
- Jessica Elliott, Daughter
- Bevan Elliott, Son-in-law
- Henry Miller, Grandson
- Edward Miller, Grandson
- William Miller, Grandson
- Charles Miller, Grandson
- Andrew Rafaill, Grandson
- Eleanor Elliott, Granddaughter
- Ronald Elliott, Grandson
- Jane Elliott, Granddaughter
- Ted Miller, Pallbearer
- Bevan Elliott, Pallbearer
- Dennis Rafaill, Pallbearer
- Kevin Horton, Pallbearer
- Ricky Horton, Pallbearer
- Mat Jones, Pallbearer
- Earl Nutz, Honorary Pallbearer
- Bill Yost, Honorary Pallbearer
- Bob Taylor, Honorary Pallbearer
- Phil Smith, Honorary Pallbearer
- Wade Ramsey, Honorary Pallbearer
- Gary Guthrie, Honorary Pallbearer
- Billy Lanier, Honorary Pallbearer
- Jim Hargis, Honorary Pallbearer
- William McCauley, Honorary Pallbearer
- Trinity Baptist Church,
- Visitation Wednesday, June 5, 2019
- Funeral Service Thursday, June 6, 2019
Ronald Arthur Horton
Dr. and Mrs. L. Gene Elliott
June 4, 2019
Ron Horton has been a colleague, friend, and family member, by marriage. We served with him as members of the BJU family and then later came to know him in a different way when our son married his youngest daughter, Jessica. While our association as university colleagues did not bring us in close contact since we were in different departments, we respected his intellect, his consistent testimony, and his long-time service; but we came to know his gentleness, his wit, and his loving concern when we became extended family. After that, we enjoyed visits, conversations, meals, and, also the privilege of staying at his home because of his custom of extending generous hospitality to any and all he knew. We appreciated his desire for the next generation to walk in the "old paths" and were thankful especially for his concern that sacred music would continue in its robust, scriptural, noble, and beautiful tradition. We saw him as a keeper of the gate in that he defended the gospel and the way of life that reflected Christ. His writings are a blessing to many. We are grateful that we came to know him in a personal way toward the later years of his life. While he leaves a great spiritual and intellectual heritage that will bear fruit for years to come, he also leaves children and grandchildren with sweet memories of a family man who prayed for them and cared for them. We thank the Lord for giving the world such a special Christian servant. Remembering him fondly, Gene and Sara
June 3, 2019
Dr. Horton was a friend and mentor dating back to 1990 when I took his Critical Writing class at BJU. It was the only English class in which I ever earned a B. But it's also a class that I remember especially well. It took me ten years to realize what he was trying to say about good writing, but it made a lasting impression and affects my writing style to this day. Dr. Horton continued to be a friend and mentor during my graduate school years and then on into my early teaching career. I enjoyed nothing better than dropping by his office to discuss an arcane point of philosophy, literature, or grammar. He always had time to talk and remained an email correspondent up to last December. His absence came home to me today as I was writing something at work and had to resolve a knotty grammatical issue. It suddenly occurred to me that I couldn't ask Dr. Horton. That's when I really missed him. Thank you Dr. Horton for your friendship and guidance. I look forward to the day when we'll meet again.