ARMINGTON — Thomas O. “Ness” Horner, 89, formerly of Armington, passed away at 9 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 20, 2012) at the Meadows Mennonite Retirement Home, Alzheimer Unit 1, in Chenoa.
His funeral is at 11 a.m. Monday at the Liberty Baptist Church, Minier. The Rev. John Horner will officiate. Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, also at the church. Burial will be in Oak View Cemetery, in Armington, where he will receive military burial rites. Haensel Funeral Home, Minier, is assisting the family with the arrangements. Memorials may be made to Meadows Mennonite Retirement Home, Alzheimers Unit 1, in Chenoa.
Tom was born on Feb. 28, 1923, in Sneedville, Tenn., to Grover C. and Carrie Mae Horner. On July 19, 1946, in Gate City, Va., he married Lelia B. Barker. She survives.
Also surviving are his son, Thomas L. (Eve) Horner, Ringgold, Ga.; his daughter, Donna J. (Thomas) Escoubas, Armington; his three grandsons, Jeff (Cheryl) Horner, Aurora; Brent (Jamie) Escoubas, Aliso Viejo, Calif.; and Matthew Escoubas, Washington, D.C.; his stepgrandson, Scott Serrano, Aurora; one great-granddaughter, Ryken Adlee Escoubas; two brothers, James and Mark from Tennessee; and one sister, Faye, also of Tennessee; in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by one grandson, Jason Anthony Horner; two sisters, Ina and Sally; and five brothers, Joe, Jess, Woody, Gus and Emory.
Thomas was a proud member of the East Peoria Local UAW 974 while he worked in tooling at Caterpillar for 30 years. Many knew him throughout that time, as he sold Electrolux vacuum cleaners for over 40 years of his life. He had a definitive ‘sweet-tooth’ which could be witnessed many times when he satisfied that by not only buying one, but two candy bars at many of the gas stations while traveling from town to town as a salesman. Thomas shared stories of his time in the United States Navy during World War II. He was fortunate to survive not only one of his ships being destroyed in the Atlantic Theater, but also survived a second of his ships being destroyed later during a swift attack in the Pacific Theater. Thomas was a longtime member of the Minier Liberty Baptist Church, 50 years as a member of the Minier Masonic Lodge and a number of years as part of the Minier American Legion. But he may be known most for his love of music, both playing and singing. What started back in the 1950s, he loved to play the guitar and sing. Even shortly before he died, the family can remember singing with him, and even if the tune wasn’t perfect, Thomas could still harmonize with the best of them. His singing and his love of family and friends will truly be missed.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.haenselfuneral home.com.