Horton, Oscar Bobby
Birth: Thursday, December 16, 1937 in Roxboro, North Carolina
Residence: California, Maryland
Death: Saturday, February 22, 2020 at the age of 82
Laid to Rest: Saturday, February 29, 2020 in the Charles Memorial Gardens, Leonardtown, Maryland
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Oscar Bobby Horton, 82, of California, MD passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 22, 2020. He was born December 16, 1937 in Roxboro, N.C. to the late Elijah G. Horton and Lorena O. Tingen. On December 23, 1962, Oscar married the true love of his life, his beloved wife, Mary Ruth McCollum, at Yadkinville Baptist Church, North Carolina. Together they celebrated over 54 wonderful years of marriage until Mary Ruth's passing in 2017.
A true lifetime learner, Oscar attended Roxboro High School, and was a Life Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1961, a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering with a major in Communications Engineering from George Washington University in 1972. He obtained numerous additional Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Program Management, Project Management, Contracts Management, Financial Management, and Acquisition Management program certificates from various academic and federal institutions.
Oscar had a long and distinguished career, with over 40 years in service to the Nation as a Government Civil Servant for the United States Navy, accumulating numerous civilian awards. One of the "Engineers of '61", Oscar began his career at the Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Activity (NESEA), St. Inigoes, MD in 1961 and worked there until his retirement in 2001. He worked on several programs including the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS), Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS), Aegis Combat System Ship Integration of the Radio Communication Systems (RCS) for the Ticonderoga Class (CG) Guided Missile Cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class (DDG) Guided Missile Destroyers. Additionally, he supported the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), Naval Air Command (NAVAIR), Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Naval Air Test Center (NATC), Naval Electronic Systems Test and Evaluation Facility (NESTEF), Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center (NCCOSC), among others.
Throughout his career as a Government Civil Servant, and following his retirement, Oscar remained involved in countless Federal, State of Maryland, and local St. Mary's County initiatives. He has been an advocate and proponent for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). He worked with his beloved wife Mary Ruth in support of several Federal, State, and local Office on Aging proposals and initiatives. He supported several Parks & Recreation initiatives and received a Governor's Citation from the State of Maryland in 1982 for his support of the State's Open Space Program.
Oscar enjoyed many hobbies throughout his life including woodworking, softball, golf, bowling, and tennis. He loved traveling with his wife. However, his greatest love was for his family and was widely regarded for being present for his children's and grandchildren's academic honors events and athletic events. All of his family and friends knew that if they had an event, he would be there, camera in hand. At every family meal, he would always close the blessing quietly with the simple phrase, in his quintessential North Carolina accent, "Thank God for Family".
Oscar Horton is survived by his children, Deborah Sneeuwjagt (Frederik) of Huntingtown, MD and Cynthia Ferguson of Rock Hill, SC; his grandchildren: Brooke Sneeuwjagt, Heather Sneeuwjagt, Erik Sneeuwjagt, Stephen Ferguson (Brittany), Bobbie Ann Atwood (Allen) and William Michael Ferguson; 6 great grandchildren; and extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings.
Family will receive friends for Oscar's Life Celebration on Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., with a Funeral Service celebrated by Pastor Jim Swecker at 12:00 p.m., at Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Interment will follow at Charles Memorial Gardens in Leonardtown, MD. Serving as pallbearers will be Stephen Ferguson, William Michael Ferguson, Erik Sneeuwjagt, Brooke Sneeuwjagt, Heather Sneeuwjagt, and Joshua Backstedt.