John P. Horton of Cummington‚ Massachusetts‚ and Marlboro‚ Vermont‚ died in the line of duty on Thursday‚ August 6‚ 2009. He was 68 years old.
He began his 47-year long volunteer firefighting career in Lanesboro‚ Massachusetts‚ at the age of 16.
When he married his wife‚ Jeanette‚ they moved to Litchfield‚ Connecticut‚ where he worked as a herdsman at Toll Gate Farms. This was one of the very top Ayrshire farms in the country.
In 1965‚ they purchased their own dairy farm in Cummington‚ where Jack operated Windswept Farm and raised a beautiful herd of registered Ayrshire cattle. Later he worked as a R.F.D. mail carrier.
Jack served as a volunteer firefighter in Cummington‚ receiving numerous recognitions and awards. He ultimately became fire chief of the Cummington Fire Department‚ where he was instrumental in instituting enhanced 911 services in western Massachusetts.
For 30 years‚ Jack also volunteered with the Marlboro Volunteer Fire Company‚ Inc. He trained firefighters and members of the community in CPR. He also served as the assistant chief of the Marlboro Fire Company.
He was a 1958 graduate of Pittsfield High School and received an associate’s degree in agriculture from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Jack especially loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter‚ trapper‚ and fisherman throughout his life. His favorite was deer hunting‚ and he had many trophies in his living room.
Jack had retired early in life‚ so he had almost ten years to do whatever he loved most. He enjoyed his retirement. He loved his family. Jack will be greatly missed by all.