Fire claims lives of Liberty alumni
Aaron and Rachael Horton, 2007 graduates of Liberty University, died together Friday, April 8.
The two grew up in Lynchburg and met while attending Liberty. They married in 2007 and remained in the area.
“They were a joy to be around, so much fun and so full of life,” Heather Quintero, Rachael’s sister, said. “They both loved dressing up and doing something, anything. And they both loved spending time with their nephews and Aaron’s cousins.”
Rachael worked for Gentle Care Animal Hospital and was studying to receive her veterinary technician licensure. Aaron was employed by Genworth Financial and had almost completed a master’s degree from the University of Wales.
“More than anything else (they) both loved literature — C.S. Lewis, Tolken and J.K. Rowling —They both read veraciously,” Quintero said. “Both of them loved C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia,” and they would talk about what heaven would be like and if it was like what Lewis had imagined.”
The couple also enjoyed traveling, devoting most of their time to Great Britain, according to Quintero.
“They traveled to Great Britain as much as they could and went several times since getting married,” she said. “As often as they got a chance, they would go, even it meant sleeping on the floor of someone else’s home, they would go.”
Aaron had hoped to teach ancient history on a collegiate level, and Rachael had planned to continue caring for animals as a vet technician.
“Rachael really had a heart for any animal or person that was hurting and would go out of her way — one of the last things she did was one of the girls she worked with found out her dog was going to be put down, and Rachael spent time the last two days putting together a gift basket, one for her friend and one for her dog,” Quintero said.
The couple’s cat Oscar also died in the fire Friday.
“I know Rachael and Aaron both were very strong in their faith — I can’t emphasize what a vital part of their lives it was,” Quintero said. “It was their life, it was who they were.”
“The way they lived their lives really speaks for itself, and really the way they lived was a testimony and is the best testimony,” Quintero said. “We are glad that we have hope.”
Rachael Horton is survived by her father Wendell Kenneth Johnson, of Bedford, and mother Kathie Carwile Morgan and her husband, Elwood J. Morgan Jr., of Lynchburg.
In addition to her parents, Rachael is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Heather and Josh Quintero and nephews, Jude, Gabriel and Elias Quintero.
Aaron Horton is survived by his father Kenneth Elmore Horton and mother Barbara Parrish Horton, both of Lynchburg.
In addition to his parents and grandmother, he is survived by one sister, Leah C. Horton, of Lynchburg.
A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at Thomas Road Baptist Church.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at Whitten Timberlake Chapel, according to their obituary.