Aunt Ricky was loved by many people

Often friends would ask me, “How’s Aunt Ricky?” She would write postcards to my classroom in grade school, and in a way, all the kids felt like they had an Aunt Ricky, too.

“I’ll watch the kids. You go to church with your husband.”

Driving us to McDonald’s for a treat after school

She was early to every event and saved front row seats.

Her bags were always filled with gifts and surprises

“The older folks called her MGM because the camera was always ready. She captured our most important family moments and documented our lives as we grew up.”

Dorothy Horton, or “Aunt Ricky” to most, lived a full life. Born in 1918, she lived to reach the age of almost 102. She had been bragging about her age since at least her late 70’s. “Can you believe I’m 85?” She would say. Well, I could. She was always old to me. But what was impressive was all that she accomplished in those years. I know she would have loved to have a family of her own, but in many ways, she had many families. She was everyone’s Aunt Ricky.

She loved church, swimming, doing needlepoint, and getting attention from all the men while driving her maroon ’75 Plymouth Valiant. She would pull into Vito’s Pizza in Cherry Hill, and the Italian guys behind the counter would shout, “Eyy! Grand Mama!” as she entered. In the time it took her to park, get out of the car, and get inside, they already had a center Sicilian slice and a cup of Italian wedding soup hot and ready for her.

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