|Posted by Glenn Edward Waters III on March 6, 2011 at 7:37 PM|
Horace Broome Kelton (1928 - 2010)
Horace Broome Kelton, 82, died peacefully Sunday, July 11, 2010, surrounded by his children. Service: The family will observe a private memorial service in Costa Rica at a later date. Memorials: Memorial contributions honoring Horace's life may be made to First Book, a non-profit organization providing disadvantaged children with new books. First Book, 1319 F St. NW, Suite 100, Washington, D.C., 20004-1155, 866-READ NOW or firstbook.org. Memorials also may be made to a charity of choice. Horace was born May 2, 1928, in San Antonio to Horace Kelton II and Marian Broome Kelton. He grew up in San Angelo with his large extended family. He was descended from generations of Texas cattlemen, and he enjoyed time at the family ranch. At the age of 18, Horace enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division. After his Army service, he went to Washington and Lee University and was a proud member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and graduated cum laude in 1950. He then attended the University of Texas Law School and graduated with honors in 1954. After a first date on Texas-OU weekend in Dallas in the fall of 1953, Horace decided that he had met the love of his life, Jane Mathes. They married in 1954 and enjoyed 53 years of marriage together. They lived in Arlington, Athens, Little Rock and Dallas before moving to Costa Rica over 30 years ago. Along the way they had five children and made many lifelong friends. Horace was active in the church community in each place where they lived pursuing his interest in theology. His other great passion was the gentleman's game of golf. He was a member of many golf clubs including the Little Rock Country Club, Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth and the Costa Rica Country Club. After graduating from law school, Horace went to work for the Curtis Mathes Co. He worked side by side with Jane's father, Curtis Mathes Sr., who became a much-loved father figure. Horace was the president of the Curtis Mathes Co. and served on the boards of many banks and civic organizations. The company was sold in the 1970s, and Horace moved his family to Costa Rica with his in-laws, Curtis and Gladys Mathes, and enjoyed a great adventure that was to last the rest of his life. In Costa Rica, Horace invented a new career for himself as a writer. He wrote and published a book of poetry followed by six novels published by Doubleday under the pen name of H.B. Broome. He was nominated for the best first novel by the Western Writers of America for "The Meanest Man in West Texas." His amateur golf career continued as he was chosen to be a member of the Costa Rica National Golf Team. He traveled throughout the Americas with the team and made many lasting friendships. As head of the National Golf Association he began a college scholarship program for talented young Costa Rican golfers to receive an education while advancing their golf careers. Horace received the honor of having an annual tournament named for him in 1982: the Horace Kelton National Interclub Golf Championship. The tournament continues to this day. One of Horace's favorite pastimes was entertaining friends and family by taking long walks in the mountains near his home in Escazu and sharing music and his love for his adopted home. Friendships and family were of paramount importance to Horace as witnessed by the hundreds of letters, some serious and sentimental and others outrageously funny, that he sent throughout the years. He had a gift for storytelling, but the greatest story was that of his own life of superior achievement, devotion to his wife and children, dignity and honor. Horace was preceded in death by his parents and his stepfather, Dr. W.E Thurman. "Good night, sweet prince; And angels sing thee to thy rest." Survivors: Daughter, Christie Leach and husband, Dr. Charles Leach, of Arlington; sons, Clay Kelton and wife, Evie, of Bangalore, India, Paul Kelton and wife, Valerie, of Mansfield, Andrew Kelton and wife, Gina, of Cary, N.C., and Matthew Kelton and wife, Julie, of Flower Mound; grandchildren, Adam and Oliver Leach, Tara Kelton, Kendell and Rachel Kelton, Richard Kelton and wife, Meghan, Megan, Griffin, Lane and Emma Kelton, and Ben and Katie Kelton; great-grandchildren, Ella and Aadan Kelton; cousin, Jack Broome and wife, Cathy, of San Angelo; sister, Carol Stone and husband, David, of Berkeley, Calif.; and many other beloved family members and friends.