Robert Horton

Robert Allen Horton

Tuesday, December 5th, 1939 - Monday, October 5th, 2020
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Ret. Colonel Robert Allen Horton 80, beloved husband, father, grandfather, passed away quietly in Vero Beach Florida, on Tuesday October 5, 2020, due to complications of Parkinson's Disease. He was the son of Irene and Howard Horton and was born on December 5, 1939 in Providence Rhode Island. Robert is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Carole-Lee Horton of Vero Beach, Fl. his Son Christopher R. Horton of Jupiter, FL. daughter Susan E Horton of Stowe, Vt and a granddaughter Mackenzie Horton of Tampa, FL. and many other lifelong friends.

He spent a lifetime of service to others. Enlisting in the Marine Corp in July of 1958 as a Radio Technician at Camp Pendleton, California and was so proud to be a Marine. Then later becoming a Trooper with the Vermont State Police in St. Johnsbury Vermont. Moving up the ranks quickly, promotions took him to Londonderry and Shaftsbury. Then in 1979 he was promoted to Sergeant in Colchester, in charge of Criminal Investigations. He continued to move through the ranks until in 1984 when he was asked to become Director of the Vermont State Police. Becoming a Major and then Lt Colonel soon after. Then due to his impeccable leadership, he was appointed to become the first Colonel of the Vermont State Police. Retiring in 1994. Service to the community called him back to become to be Chief of Police for the Town of Essex until 2001. After decades of dedication to his Troopers, hundreds of multi state and federal task forces and becoming a pillar in the Law Enforcement community, he finally retired in 2001 after 35 years of service. A friend to everyone, he enjoyed the serenity and quietness of his cabin on Lake Champlain with his wife. Soon moving to Florida full-time, he enjoyed the communities of New Port Ritchey and eventually calling Vero Beach his home.

As one Commissioner once said, “You visit with him and you immediately like him. He’s very diplomatic, he has leadership qualities, he’s just a nice guy.”

A committal service with State Police Honors will take place at Park Lawn Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont on October 23, 2020 at 1pm. Reception to immediately follow. Memorial Donations may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or at

Arrangements are by Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach, Florida and E.P. Mahar and Son Funeral Home in Bennington, Vermont.

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Tom O’Donovan

Posted at 08:06pm
We met when Bob became the Vermont State Police Commander. From then till his retirement our many discussions always were positive and helpful. He was a professional who looked out for his Troopers but made sure the people of Vermont were foremost in all plans. The priorities and procedures he set for dealing with the National Guard are the basis of today’s actions.
In every situation, routine or emergency, he was calm but just right on. Sympathy to the family, he was a great person.

Tom O’Donovan. Deputy Adjutant General Retired. Vermont National Guard

Jen Perry Baranski

Posted at 09:41am
Chris and Family,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I was not aware of all the amazing accomplishments that your Dad had done. You all must have been so proud.

Thinking of you.

Jen Perry Baranski

Patrick Ravey

Posted at 02:55pm
Carole-Lee and family, my deepest sympathy for your loss.
Pat Ravey

Ronald Elwell

Posted at 04:33pm
I have many fond memories of Bob. He was no doubt a truly honorable leader.

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