Bruce Horton

Bruce E. Horton, a man honored by the community and loved by his family, died Jan., 20, 2012, following in accident in his home. He was 62.
His dedication to the Court System was matched only by his love for his family, his passion for the outdoors, and the strength of his moral fiber.
The third of five children, Bruce was born Nov. 30, 1949, in Pasco, Wash., and graduated high school from St. George Academy in Spokane.
He attained his bachelor of arts degree at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and, following in his father’s footsteps, received his law degree from the University of Puget Sound. His first case was as co-counsel defending a Washington state penitentiary inmate accused of killing a guard. As a stunning introduction to the career, his client pulled out a knife in the court room!
Bruce met his wife, September, in the Walla Walla Valley. When she first saw him from afar she declared, “That’s my dream and I’m going to marry that man!” The two would eventually meet four years later and settle in Juneau in 1986, fulfilling a lifelong wish for Bruce after visiting Alaska and dreaming of it since. That spring they married and moved to Sitka where their life together began. They had two sons, Gregory in 1986 and Philip in 1990, though Bruce was a father to many people in need.
That same year he was appointed magistrate. While presiding on the bench he often said, “Ninety five percent of the people I see aren’t bad people; they just made poor choices.”
Although dedicated to his career, he was as dedicated to his family. Bruce was an avid outdoorsman and would regularly hunt with his son, Greg, who in turn would develop his own love of the outdoors leading to his working at NSRAA. His son Philip is an excellent debater, and received much advice and wisdom on the topic from his father.
His love and passion for his wife remained unchanged over the years, and the two would make frequent trips to Mexico and the Wineries of the West Coast.
His hobbies included hunting, fishing, cooking (he was a great one!), and road trips. His only personal weakness was a fondness for Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies.
He is fondly remembered for organizing group hikes, sometimes referred to by his friends as death marches!
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Florence and Hugh Horton, and his brothers Byron and Roger.
He is survived by his loving wife September and his cherished sons Greg and Philip, all of Sitka; his sister Ann Clouse, brother James Horton and stepmother Jane, all of Washington state; nieces and nephews; and many treasured friends.
A memorial service will be held 2 p .m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a memorial fund established in his name promoting judicial educational opportunities. It will be set up at Alaska Pacific Bank at 315 Lincoln Street.

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