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Howard W. Horton
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Howard W. Horton was affectionately known by many names. In the community he was known by all as Raheem. Among his five-percenter family and friends he was known as GOD Raheem. From childhood he was nicknamed “Tina Man” (Tiny Man) because he was born premature and his fighting spirit to survive and thrive as a child. To his own children and grandchildren, he is Papa, Grandfather Raheem, Dad, and Daddy. He was our protector, and provider. This multi-faceted man peacefully transitioned surrounded by his family on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 26, 2023, after a brief battle with cancer. Raheem was born on February 21, 1951, to the late Howard R. and Mildred (Smith) Horton. Raheem was a loving father, grandfather, and renaissance man who took the responsibility of seeking knowledge from the cradle to the grave seriously. He was a voracious learner of all things, especially the exploration of spirituality. This was evident in his conversion to Islam at the age of 14, when Malcom X was assassinated on his fourteenth birthday. He was as strong as an ox but could be exceptionally gentle and compassionate. At times he would care for something as small and seemingly insignificant as a spider; choosing not to kill it because it was a living being. He was actively involved in his children and grandchildren’s lives and in the community. He especially extended himself and engaged in acts of service for those who exist on the margins of our society where conventional outreach is often lacking. In these circumstances, a loved one is often referred to as a “great” man, and Raheem embodied that term with honor. He touched countless people’s lives with his seemingly never-ending generosity, so it would be difficult to name them all. He was a father figure to many, from all demographics and backgrounds, without judgment. He was a proud recovering addict with more than 28 years of sobriety. Before retiring, he worked in construction and in drug and alcohol behavioral health. He also mentored many young people as a coach, teacher, martial arts instructor, and disciplinarian. He had an eye and a soft spot for those at risk of falling through the cracks.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters Janet Sims and Phyllis Glover, as well as four siblings who died in infancy. Raheem is survived by his children: Tahj, Khyl, Khadija, Nadirah, and Jacario (Amanda), Lincoln, Nebraska; his siblings: Cheryl Jong, Denise Horton, Andre Horton (Angela), Valerie Young (Bill), Gary Horton, Erie, Marsha Moore (Steve) Dallas Texas, Glenn Horton, Los Angeles, California, and Darrell Horton (Antoinette) Mebane, North Carolina; grandchildren: Tyrell Naki’, Jazmyn, Aria, Khali, Ahmari Akhir, Jalil, Naeem, Skye Renee, Isaac, Gracelynn, Paxxton, Symphony and Journey; four great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and cousins. A Celebration of Life will be held at the MLK Center Green Room, 312 Chestnut Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16507 on October 12, 2023, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Arrangements are under the direction of Davis – Garr Cremation and Funeral Services, Inc. 459 East 12th Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16503. Online condolences may be sent to Davisgarrfuneralhome.com.