Cecile Oliver Horton, a loving wife and mother, died at her home at Pine Valley Retirement Community on September 21, 2020, after a long illness. Cecile was born and reared in Panola, AL as the oldest of three children. She had a lifelong love of her hometown, keeping her family home in Panola where six generations of Olivers and Hortons have lived, loved and gathered.
Cecile graduated from Aliceville High School in 1952 as Valedictorian. She attended Judson College for one year before transferring to the University of Alabama. She attended the business school at UA when there were few women in the school, achieving a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration in 1956 and a Master of Business Administration in 1958. While attending the University, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and she remained active as an alumnae for many years thereafter.
During her time at the University she met and married her husband of 44 years, Charlie Horton. They were married in 1955 and settled in Tuscaloosa where they reared their four children. In 1965, they moved their family to the Cherokee Hills neighborhood where Cecile lived for the next 51 years.
Cecile remained a housewife and stay at home mother until her last child finished high school and then she returned to the business world that she had always loved. She opened her store Past and Present which combined her love of antiques and needlework and in 1985 she began one of her greatest adventures by working with her husband and colleagues to build her dream, Pine Valley Retirement Community. Pine Valley was a big part of her life for over thirty years and she served as the President of the Board of Managers for ten of those years. In 2008, she received an achievement award presented by the Women and Business Council of Tuscaloosa for her work with Pine Valley.
Cecile loved needlepoint, French hand sewing, gardening, antiques and studying her Bible. She was a member of First United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School for years and was an active member of the Lee Sunday School Class, Lee Bible Conference and the United Methodist Women. Through the years, Cecile took every opportunity to lead all that she could to Christ. She was active in her community as a past President of The Junior Welfare Association, a charter member of the Heritage Study Club, a member of the Tuscaloosa Needlepoint Guild, the Alabama Black Belt Action Commission, the Tuscaloosa County Republican Women, and a Master Gardener.
Cecile will be remembered as devoted to her family, a loving CeCe to her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren and a loyal and fierce supporter to those she called friend. She was preceded in death by her parents R.L. and Catherine Oliver, her husband Charles F. Horton, and her daughter Catherine Cecile Horton Eisen. She is survived by her children Cynthia Horton Montgomery (Richard), Charles F. Horton, Jr. (Leigh), and Paula Horton Black (Terry); her son-in-law Stefan Eisen (Mary Kay); her grandchildren Johanna Catherine Eisen, Ryne Montgomery (Carol), Caroline Montgomery Moon (Michael), Sarah Horton Marshburn (David), Charlie Horton, and Jack Horton; her great-grandchildren Sara Helen Montgomery, Neal Montgomery and William Moon; her siblings Rosalie Roberts and Lew Oliver (Barbara); and her loving niece, nephews and cousins. The family wishes to recognize and thank with love the wonderful women who cared for Cecile in her later years: Jennifer Blackburn, Christine Thomas, Jan Boothe, Patsy Porter, Linda Crowell and all the staff at Pine Valley.
As per Cecile’s instructions, a family graveside service will be held at Panola United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Horton Student Life Center at the First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa; Pleasant Grove Cemetery Fund, % Connie Marine, 48030 Alabama Hwy 17, Aliceville, AL 35442; or the charity of your choice.