Horton Wayne Flaming, 78, died on Monday, Oct.15, 2012, at home in North Newton, Kan.
Services will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton.
Horton was born Aug. 6, 1934 near Corn, Okla. to a family of Mennonite farmers. His family moved to California in 1940, settling in Reedley (near Fresno).
Polio struck Horton at age 11. His mother died while he was in the hospital. The intensity applied to regaining the ability to walk remained at Horton's core through-out his life. "Cripples" were viewed much differently in the 50's and 60's; handicap accessibility did not exist. In later years he was again physically challenged by Post-Polio syndrome.
During school (Reedley High School, Reedley College, Bethel College, Fresno State, Emporia State) Horton was a ferocious Ping-Pong player, state champion swimmer (5 mile event), state champion (both Calif. and Kan. ) in speech, and competed in national speech events. He was a leader in student government in high school, Jr. College, and at Bethel College. Horton and his wife, Elsie, have stayed connected to Bethel. Horton served as president of the Alumni Committee. In 2009, the Flamings moved from Augusta to North Newton to live at Kidron Bethel Village.
Elsie Mae Wicke and Horton were married in 1961. They met at Bethel College. They have been a team in life. Without his wife, Horton could not have accomplished what he did. Elsie lovingly cared for Horton as his physical body deteriorated. She cared for him by herself to the end.
Both Horton and Elsie enjoyed travel. For years they camped all over the country: Canada for fishing, CA to visit family, the East Coast, Texas. After they "retired" they started taking bus and barge tours. They were soon recruited to be tour directors and led multiple tours around the country; making many friends in the process.
Horton's faith was a central part of his life. The summer after he graduated from Bethel (1956) he served as the Intern Summer Minister at Beatrice, NE. He was always teaching adult Sunday school classes or Bible studies. He carried the burden of leadership for decades in many roles at the Augusta First United Methodist Church.
After college Horton taught psychology and history at Conway Springs, KS for 5 years. He also coached drama, speech and debate. He then taught at Augusta, two years before becoming the high school counselor for 27 years. He ran a special career learning event for a number of years, served as football announcer, and was named the Augusta Master Teacher in 1974. Over the years he changed many students' lives, guided staff, and also counseled community members. Helping people was Horton's passion.
Horton was preceded in death by; his mother Susie (Janzen); father Ernest, and step mother Bertha.
Page 2 of 2 - He is survived by: his wife, Elsie of 51 years; his brother, Vernon (Doris); step sisters, Alberta (Carty) and Donna (Lloyd); and step brother, Richard (Vera); two sons, Kevan (Brenda), and Garth (Lisa); four grandchildren: Braxton, Garrett, Billie, Garth.
Horton struggled hard to succeed despite significant challenges throughout his life. He continually walked with God. He was always teaching and encouraging others. He leaves a significant legacy in all the people he touched and helped. And now after a human lifetime of physical challenges he is dancing in heaven with the new body he longed for.
In keeping with Horton's passion for education and helping others, memorial gifts can be made to the Wicke – Flaming Scholarship at Bethel College, 300 E. 27th St., North Newton, KS 67117.