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Meet Johnny and Helen Horton, Carillon of Knightdale’s New Resident Welcome Committee

Johnny Horton joined the Navy when he was only 17 years old. He had the urge to do something different with his life, and after talking with recruiters he decided to enlist. He grew up on a farm in North Carolina, and was used to working hard from sunup to sundown. In the Navy he worked in the ship’s engine room. “Most days it was easier than being a farmer,” he said with a laugh.

Johnny served three years in the Navy, and during World War II he traveled all over the Pacific, including Pearl Harbor, Japan, and China. In particular, Johnny recalls a return voyage after a typhoon hit Japan. “We were passing through the Panama Canal when a pipe busted in the engine room,” he said. “It was a bumpy ride, and the crew had to hold on for dear life while fixing the pipe.”

Johnny was working in Raleigh when he struck up a conversation with a young woman named Helen. The two were married in 1947, and have shared their lives together for the past 69 years.

Johnny worked as a lineman for the electric company and spent his civilian career scaling electric poles to keep electricity and lights on 24/7 in communities.

Johnny and Helen have one son, Tony. “He was so good, we decided to stop,” Johnny joked. The couple also has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Most of the family lives in North Carolina, except for one grandson who is a minister in Texas.

In May of 2015, the Hortons moved to the Carillon Assisted Living in Knightdale, North Carolina. They head about serving on the Welcome Committee and immediately jumped on the opportunity. “When new folks come to live and call Carillon home, we’re there to warmly greet and welcome them,” Johnny explained. “We make sure everyone has what they need and get to know them, help them settle in and be there for them if they have any questions. Helen and I are here for them.”

Helen’s personality truly shines when she greeting new residents is where friendly. While Johnny enjoys a good meal, followed by relaxing in a comfy lounge chair and watching TV, Helen is the more social of the two and thrives on connecting with others. She especially enjoys all of the group activities Carillon offers residents. “I love playing bocce ball and attending church services,” Helen said. “We are so happy our son found us such a wonderful place to live.”

Posted in Resident and Community Life, Resident Stories, Sage Stories Tagged , , , , , , , on November 3, 2016

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