Darrell Clement Horne, age 85, beloved husband, father, grandpa, coach, and all-around great guy, passed away on Friday, April 17 in his home, surrounded by his family after a short but courageous battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Darrell was born Feb. 28, 1935 in Green Bay, WI to Clement and Loretta (Tierney) Horne, the youngest of their four children. When he was four the family moved to Boyd, Wisconsin and he grew up on the same block as St. Joseph’s Catholic Church where his mother would sing for daily mass, and where he or his brothers were often called at the last minute to serve as altar boys. His family owned and operated the Horne Pickle Company, which provided him with many pickle-themed stories, and instilled in him a strong work ethic. He graduated from McDonell Catholic High School in 1953, where he played football and basketball. After high school, Darrell served in the US Army during the time of the Korean conflict. He was stationed in Germany, and was able to travel various places throughout Europe, which provided him with many stories he shared with his family often. As a proud veteran, Darrell enjoyed taking part in a Badger Honor Flight trip in April 2017, accompanied by his eldest Grandson Derek. A picture of the two of them from that trip was used on Billboards promoting Badger Honor Flight throughout the following year.
Two weeks after completing his service with the Army, he was walking down the streets of Boyd and bumped into a girl he used to know in grade school, LaVonne Esser. On their first date they went bowling, and their great love story began. They were married at St. Joseph’s on May 30, 1959. Their early married years were spent in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Augusta, Wisconsin before settling in Sun Prairie, WI. They moved to Sun Prairie when he accepted a job with Home Mutual Insurance (now Secura) where he worked as a Claims Adjuster for 30 years. In this role, he worked with families across the southwestern part of the state helping them to rebuild and recover from some of the darkest times of their lives; a career of service which he found deeply rewarding. He continued his love of athletics by working as a WIAA Official for high school varsity games including football, basketball, and baseball for 28 years.
Darrell’s years in Sun Prairie were filled with family, faith, athletics, and service. He was a founding member of the High School Quarterback Club and was very active in the Sacred Hearts Athletic Association, coaching football, basketball for countless kids for 17 years. He spent many summers playing for and managing men’s softball teams, often running fundraising tournaments. In his later years, he enjoyed volunteering as a driver for the Sunshine Food Pantry.
He always made it a priority to be at his kids athletic, musical and theatre events through the years, and continued to be the #1 fan of his grandsons in all of their activities including football, baseball and learning new sports like La Crosse and Hockey… Darrell was a lifelong Packer Fan, having gone to his first game in the rain with an Uncle at the age of 9. He was also a man who loved being in the mystical place we call “Up North”, especially when it involved deer hunting with his sons, grandsons, and friends.
Darrell is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, LaVonne, their children Cheryl Horne, David Horne, and Jennifer (Robert) Lindberg, Daughter-in-law Jennifer (Aschbrenner) Horne, grandsons Derek Horne, Kyle Wrasse, Nicholas Lindberg, and Ryan Horne. He was preceded in death by his son and best friend, Steven Horne, as well as his parents, and siblings (Mary Jane (Horne) Burke, Robert Horne, and Francis Horne). He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, family, and friends, including those special friends he spent many happy Thursday afternoons with in Keyeser.
The family would like to extend sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr. Rory Makielski and his team at the SSM Cancer Care Clinic for their compassion and kindness during Dad’s brief illness, and to Nicole, Jana, Pat, Amy, Amy, Grace, Heather and Sadie and others with Agrace Hospice who allowed him to leave this earth in peace, in his own home, surrounded by those he loved and who loved him deeply in return.
Due to the times we are currently living in, a private Mass of Christian Burial for family is planned, and burial will be at the Sacred Hearts Cemetery in Sun Prairie, with Monsignor Duane Moellenberndt presiding. A Memorial Mass, and celebration of Darrell’s life, will be held at a future time when we can all gather, hug, and raise a glass of Leinenkugel’s in a toast to “Grandpa D.”
“If I were any better, I’d be twins.”