Fish Brewing Company founder Mary Horton dies after being struck by vehicle

Mary Horton and her son, Gaius Horton, in a photo posted on Facebook in February.
Mary Horton and her son, Gaius Horton, in a photo posted on Facebook in February. Courtesy photo

Fish Brewing Company co-founder and former Olympia resident Mary Horton has died at age 52.

Horton died from severe injuries April 21, a day after she was struck by a vehicle while biking to get her morning coffee. The incident took place in Covington, Louisiana, north of New Orleans, where she lived.

The driver was not charged, but the family is looking into the cause of the accident, said her former husband, Crayne Horton of Olympia.

Mary Joyce Horton was born Aug. 9, 1963, and grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota. She and Crayne met in high school and married in 1986.

The couple lived in Japan where she worked for the Ministry of Education. They returned to the United States in 1992 and settled down in Olympia.

In 1993, the Hortons and some local investors opened Fish Brewing Company and Fishbowl Pub in downtown Olympia. Over the years, the company has become a pillar of the Northwest’s craft beer scene.

Horton left the company in 1999, but remained a passionate supporter who held on to most of her original shares.

“Mary could never let go of the Fish Brewing Company. It remained an extremely important part of her life,” said Crayne Horton, who stayed friends with Mary Horton since their divorce. “It was tough for her to let go and see others be in charge.”

Sometimes known as Mary Fish, she was a promoter of local music festivals in Olympia, and was known for enthusiastic dancing at concerts. She loved the New Orleans music scene and had tickets to attend the famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival the week she died.

Horton is survived by her son, Gaius Horton; parents Michael and Karen Schlitt; boyfriend Scott Holland; and her three sisters.

Crayne Horton said the family will post information on Facebook about an upcoming memorial service. Mary Horton had a lengthy list of places where she wanted her ashes spread, including locations in Olympia, he said.