James “Bubbles” Horton

BubblesLittle Flower was the best thing that ever happened to me – don’t know where I would have wound up if I wasn’t here.”

James “Bubbles” Horton has become an iconic figure at Little Flower.  He is not an ordinary alumnus—not only was he taken in and raised at Little Flower, but he continued his relationship and gave back in so many ways.

In 1944, James came to Little Flower’s Wading River Campus at the age of 10 with his brother Lloyd, sister Jeanette and step-sister Elaine.  Their mother promised to return for them, but she never did.

James was educated and raised here until adulthood.  He lived in Dorm 13, which was supervised by Brothers Leo, Francis and Joseph.  After graduation, he began working on the campus as a groundskeeper, performing a variety of facilities services, and maintaining a constant, inspirational presence for the children who lived there.  He received the first Martin Luther King Jr. Service award in 1968 for his service to Little Flower.

James’s best memory of his time at Little Flower is meeting his wife, Karen.  He said he wouldn’t have met her if not for Little Flower.  The two met through Karen’s cousin, Mary Jones who was a counselor at Little Flower.  When Karen began working at the school, the two got to know each other better and eventually got married with Monsignor John T. Fagan presiding over their ceremony.

Though James officially retired from Little Flower in 1997, he has continued his involvement, working several days a week as a groundskeeper, assisting with drives and fundraising activities, and interacting with the children on campus.

Little Flower recognized James, for his lifetime of service and dedication to the organization at the 2013 Annual Golf Classic.  He is described by those that know him as being dependable, conscientious, flexible, kind-hearted and caring.  Over his 51 years with the organization, James has delighted the children and staff alike with his positive attitude and commitment to giving back to Little Flower, and we are extremely proud to recognize his life and spirit.