Obituary of Elmer R. Horn
ELMER RICHARD "PETE" HORN
Born February 19, 1922 in a small farmhouse outside Sallisaw, Oklahoma, the 6th of 7 children of farmer and Sequoyah County Sheriff George Horn and his wife Myrtle Rainwater Horn. He worked as a truck driver from the age of 13, then left home at 16 for California where he worked and slept in the fields as a farm worker. By age 18 he had joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, helping build the Umatilla Ordnance Depot in Oregon. He found work at a shipyard in Tacoma where in 1942 he met Bonnie Jean Dowless and, on the eve of joining the Navy, eloped with her to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He served in the South Pacific as a Metalsmith First Class and Tail Gunner on the aircraft carrier USS Natoma Bay. He survived his plane being shot down at Iwo Jima on his 23rd birthday. He returned to Tacoma after the war and worked as a body and fender repair man at Russ Dunmire Oldsmobile. Determined to stand up for "the little guy," he joined the labor movement and by 1950 was directing Local 1152 of the International Association of Machinists, a position he held until 1966, when he became a Federal Mediator, first in Dayton, Ohio, until 1972, and then in Seattle until his retirement in 1983. He bought a broken down cabin at Dash Point in 1974 and transformed it into a beautiful waterfront house where he and Jean lived from 1980 to 1993, when they moved to University Place. Always a talented woodworker, in later years he became known for the hundreds of wooden crosses that now adorn walls all over University Place. Died at home December 26.
Survived by children Kathleen Rudolph, Rick Horn, Janice Tillman, and Dianne Kerwin of Tacoma, Brian Horn of Kent, and David Horn of Seattle; nephews Daniel Sorensen of Tacoma and Joe Horn of Eureka, California; sister Mary Carter of Arkansas; 11 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by beloved wife of 72 years, Jean Horn, and daughter Colleen Horn.
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