Eleanor B. Horton, 81, registered nurse

December 16, 2004

Eleanor B. "Bess" Horton, cofounder of the Sheppard Pratt Auxiliary and a retired nurse, died of a stroke Dec. 8 at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. A resident of the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County, she was 81.

Eleanor Bessellieu was born in Wilmington, N.C., and earned a nursing diploma at Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in Washington. She received additional training at Baltimore's Union Memorial Hospital, where she graduated as a registered nurse in 1946.

She spent the summer of 1946 as a nurse at Camp Asquam in New Hampshire, then returned to Union Memorial to teach laboratory science.

There she met Dr. William P. Horton, an orthopedic surgeon, whom she married in 1947. He died last year.

In 1950, Mrs. Horton resigned from Union Memorial to become head nurse at McCormick & Co. Inc. on Light Street. She remained at the spice company for four years.

Mrs. Horton was a co-founder of the Sheppard Pratt Auxiliary in 1968 and was elected its first president in 1970. She remained on the auxiliary's board until 1976 and was chairwoman of its gift shop until 1982.

She was a member of the Junior League of Baltimore for more than 40 years and belonged to the Huguenot Society of South Carolina. She was a past president of the Homeland Garden Club.

Mrs. Horton enjoyed scuba diving off North Carolina, where she found artifacts related to Civil War blockade runners.

Services were held Saturday at Stella Maris.

Survivors include a son, William Priesz Horton Jr. of Odessa, Fla.; a daughter, Cassandra Horton Bittner of Parkville; and four grandchildren.

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