A Life Well-Read: Longtime Aurora Library Director Mary Alice Horton Dies
By Mike Perleberg
Mary Alice Horton died on Friday, January 12. Photo courtesy Aurora Public Library District.
(Aurora, Ind.) – Mary Alice Horton, a major community supporter and longtime director of the Aurora Public Library, has died.
Horton died Friday, January 12 at her home surrounded by her family, according to her obituary. She was 64.
Horton was the director of the Aurora Public Library District for 35 years up until last year when her three-year fight against cancer forced her to retire. In her tenure, Horton helped to open new library branches in Dillsboro and Moores Hill.
“During a nearly three-year struggle with a vicious and aggressive illness, she has been an example of courage, strength, and dignity, inspiring her medical team, fellow patients, and friends…all while continuing to fulfill her personal and professional obligations,” her family wrote in her obituary.
She was also on the board of Hillforest Victorian House Museum and helped organize Aurora’s community picnic. The Riverview Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places with her help.
Two awards she received are testaments to the impact Horton had on her community. She received the Dearborn County Chamber’s Women of Distinction Award just last October. Horton was also honored with the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash award for her service.
“Mary Alice has encouraged library staff to pursue higher education opportunities to better perform the functions of their jobs and to attain career goals. She has inspired many of her staff, colleagues, and community partners to stretch their abilities, to think creatively and to engage in problem-solving,” the Horton family said.
Horton is survived by her husband Michael, three children, her father Gerald James, three siblings, and four grandchildren.
Visitation for Mary Alice Horton will be held Friday, January 19 from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, 4937 State Road 48, in Lawrenceburg. Services will immediately follow.
Family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life James-Horton Family and Friends, or the Aurora Public Library District.