Who was Ronnie Horton
Every person has the opportunity to make a difference
Everyone has a sphere of influence where they’re able to affect people and events. Some people become heads of state with the ability to change the course of history with one stroke of their pen. But, for the vast majority of us, our task is simply to make the most of the opportunities we have. For Ronnie Horton, his platforms were a grocery store and his family, and he used these opportunities to touch the lives of countless individuals. “What Ronnie wanted most was for everyone to succeed. He wanted them to be the best that they could be. And he led by example. That is his greatest legacy,” said his wife, Nancy Horton.
Ronnie started working for Brookshire Grocery Company as a bagger when he was fourteen years old. The company saw potential in him and helped him fulfill his dreams of attending college, paying for his tuition, books, and living expenses. As Nancy puts it, “They believed in him, and in turn, he was loyal to Brookshire’s.”
Over the course of his four decades with Brookshire, Ronnie came in contact with countless customers and employees. His ability to win the respect of those he worked with was a hallmark of his personality, leaving an immense impact on those who knew him well. “It was so weird to see how my dad could instill fear and respect simultaneously,” said his son Matt. “There was definitely an integrity about how he went about things; he was never overbearing.”
Ronnie embodied the concept of servant leadership, choosing to lead by example rather than from behind a desk. “Even when he got to the top if somebody spilled something on Aisle Ten at a store he was at, Ronnie knew where the mop was,” said Nancy. “He would go to the back room, get the mop, and clean the spill up. He would show that he was part of their team, and he loved helping them succeed.”
Ronnie passed away from a brain tumor in 2003, leaving behind a legacy larger than his 55 years. Even as he climbed the corporate ladder, eventually reaching the role of senior vice president - director of retail operations in 2000, he never wavered from his commitment to helping others succeed. The Ronnie Horton Legacy Scholarship continues this legacy, even in Ronnie’s absence, ensuring that his impact will be felt for many more decades to come.