Roy E. Horner came into this world Dec. 7, 1930, on a farm northeast of Friend and left this world as an active farmer up until the day of his passing on Aug. 2, 2021, at the age of 90 years, 7 months, and 26 days. Roy’s love of farming began as a boy on the family farm, with his grandfather, Leo Horner, who purchased the Horner farm west of Friend. For over 70 years, Roy tended to the family farm and proudly upheld the legacy.
Throughout Roy’s childhood, his father, a Methodist minister, moved the family to several communities in Nebraska. From Pleasant Dale, the family moved throughout Tobias, Daykin, Ohiowa and finally moved to the town of Friend, where Roy entered the fifth grade at Friend Public Schools. In 1945, Roy’s family moved to the family farm West of Friend. While in high school, Roy loved playing sports. He excelled in basketball and obtained the nickname of “Hook” for his signature shot. After graduation in 1948, Roy worked for a custom harvest, traveling south to Texas for a year. Upon returning from harvest, Roy attended Taylor College in Indiana for a year before getting drafted in 1952 to the Korean war. He served until returning to Camp Carson, Colorado, in 1954. While visiting a friend from the war in Belleville, Kansas, Roy met the love of his life, Helen Coons, who worked at the local soda fountain shop.
Roy and Helen were married March 6, 1955, at the United Church of Christ in Chester, and to this union, five children were born. Roy and Helen made their first home south of Friend, where Roy farmed and assisted in tending the family farm. During the winter season, Roy drove semi-trucks for Diamond Freightways and Graves truck line. After 18 years on the south farm, Roy and Helen moved to the Horner family farm, where they lived 22 years before retiring to town. Though the move to town did not keep Roy off the farm, he continued farming the homestead while working with Bill Beckler. Throughout the years, Roy and Helen enjoyed trips together through the continental United States on bus tours and an Alaskan cruise, but their favorite trips were to see their children and grandchildren. Roy looked forward to his pitch games with the guys at the barbershop and in his later years reading a good book.
Roy loved sports, especially basketball and golf. Alongside his four brothers, the Horner boys formed a basketball team that competed in area games. Roy taught himself how to play golf on the sand greens south of Friend and quickly became skilled in the sport. As a member of the country club board, Roy helped design and build the new golf course in Friend, which opened in 1967. Roy treasured coaching the Friend High School golf team and was an assistant coach for 33 years. In honor of his years of dedication, the Friend Invitational became the Roy Horner Invitational in 2004. In addition to golf and basketball, Roy bowled in the men’s league in Friend for many years. Roy had quite a collection of trophies between golf and bowling.
Preceded in death by his parents, Rev Ernest and Ruth Horner; brothers, Robert, Neal and John Horner. Roy is survived by his wife, Helen Horner; children, Ray Horner, Colorado, Diane Randolph (Gary), Minnesota, Cindy Varley (Lou), Roger Horner (Kristy) and Susan Horner, Nebraska; grandchildren, Ryan Horner, Riley Horner (Dina), Rebecca Castellanos (David), Colorado, Benjamin Randolph (Berit Wells) and Katherine Loos(Chris), Minnesota, Lucas Varley (Chisa), Nebraska, Patrick Varley (Heather), Texas, Emilie Pietramale (Jason), Kelsie Aldana (Alex), Cody Horner, Nebraska, and Taylor Jerabek (Nicholas), Iowa; great-grandchildren, Jonathan, Sofia, and James Castellanos, Henry and Helen Loos, Caden Varley, Brooke, Dimitri, and Fallyn Varley, Tommy Pietramale, Carter, and Jade Aldana, Quentin Jerabek, and Adelynn Horner; brother, Paul (Ida Lou) Horner; sisters, Erma (Dave) Sebek, Ann (Ronald) Hoback, Dorcas (Paul) West, Grace (Vernon) Thomsen, Mary Jo Sabata; sister-in-laws, Terri Horner, Evelyn Larkin; brother-in-law, Max (Jane) Coons and a host of relatives, neighbors and friends.
A memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, at the Friend United Methodist Church. A visitation with family receiving relatives and friends is Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lauber Funeral Home, Friend. A luncheon will be provided after the services on Friday Honorary pallbearers are his golf teams he coached for 33 years. Memorial contributions are suggested to the church. Condolences may be left for the family online at www.lauberfh.com.