Donald Ray Horton Sr.
Feb. 25, 1936 – March 13, 2019
FERRIDAY — Donald Ray Horton Sr., 83, of Ferriday, died peacefully at his residence, Thursday, March 13, 2019.
A private family service will be held at a later date.
Mr. Horton was born Feb. 25, 1936, in Simsboro, La., the son of Eugene Wise Horton Sr. and Minnie Cheetwood Horton.
He was a longtime resident of Ferriday. He was a 1955 graduate of Ferriday High School and was a part of the Ferriday “Bull Dogs” who went on to win four consecutive high school football championships in the 1950s.
Don was team quarter back for a number of years. After high school, he was drafted by the U.S. Army where he served for three years as a helicopter mechanic. After his discharge from the Army, he went on to marry his high school sweetheart, Gail Dean, on July 16, 1959. Shortly after they married, the draft was re-instated and he was called back to the Army and stationed in Washington state. They moved back to Ferriday where he went to work for his father-in-law, Herschel Dean. Later Don and Donnie Day purchased the business from Mr. Dean and it became D&D Drilling Company, with his sons continuing the operations today. He and Gail were members of Ferriday First Baptist Church. He was a founding member of Panola Woods Country Club in 1967 and a founding member of Huntington High School. He is described as a man of few words, who spoke softly and carried a big stick. He was a loving family man. He enjoyed cooking every Sunday for family and friends as well as large crowds. He took great pleasure in growing vegetables. For many years, Don loved hunting trips with his lifelong friends and especially looked forward to rabbit hunting.
Horton was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Hubert Horton and E.W. Horton; and two sisters, Mary Lou Bennett and Sue H. Langston.
Survivors include his wife, Gail Dean Horton; four children and their families, Donald Ray “Dee” Horton Jr. of Natchez and his two daughters, Rylie and Taylor Horton, Jill Horton Burks and husband, Shawn, of Baton Rouge and their children, Caroline Burks, Spencer Burks and wife, Logan, and Don’s only great-grandchild, Georgia Louis Burks, Herschel Jesse Horton and wife, Kendell, of Ferriday and their two sons, Cameron Horton and Colby Horton; and daughter, Kim Horton Poole and husband, Jeff, of McKinney, Texas, and their three sons, Payton Poole, Justin Poole and Jess Poole.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or ALS Association, P.O. Box 37022, Boone, IA 50037-0022.
The family extends a special thanks to Sandra Williams and Twana Sewell for their help and care of Mr. Horton.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at youngsfh.com.