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Jack D. Horner

July 7, 1927 March 6, 2016
Jack D. Horner
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Obituary for Jack D. Horner


John Douglas (Jack) Horner, a long-term resident of Commerce Lake, (since 1939) was born July 7, 1927 in Pontiac, MI, and died March 6, 2016. Parents were Carl and Ruth (Harmer) Horner. Jack was married to Marie Lucienne ‘Lu’, for 56 years and is survived by seven children: Reneé Anne (Curt) Johnson, John Bradley, Jeannine Lucienne (Philip) Vigelius. William Harvey, Michael Carl, Jacqueline Ruth (Martin) Bennett, and Jill Yvette (Kirk) Culik. Also survived by seven grandchildren. James (Jody), Justin (Martha) and Savanah (fiancé William Green) Cramb, Ethan and Keaton Vigelius, Schyler and Grant Bennett. He has 3 great grandchildren, Autumn, Isabella, and Elijah ‘on the way’ Cramb. Jack was very proud of each of his children, which included two and a half sets of twins. (One child was lost in a partial miscarriage). Seven was Jack’s favorite number. An older brother, Bruce, predeceased him, and a younger sister, Judith (Bob) Gray, survives him. One niece, Kathleen Nelson, and nephews, Don (Carol) Horner, and Scott (Dawn) Gray, and Kerry Gray also survive.

Jack served in the U.S. Navy at the end of WWII. He received his draft notice on the day that the Japanese decided to end the war, Aug 14, 1945. Somehow, it took the Government almost a year to find that out, before Jack was honorably discharged (July 1946). Jack never regretted the short time in the Service. It was all hard work, as a mess cook, but it provided the GI Bill for the first two years of college. He was a proud graduate of Walled Lake High School (1945), and Michigan Tech (1950) with a BS in Chemical Engineering. Jack often told of how he was able to squeeze by the last two years of college with whatever he could earn during the summers. Jack often voiced his support for a mandatory one-year military service for all 18-year olds.

After college, Jack changed jobs once in the first six years before leaving GM for a small chemical company in Detroit, where he started as a tech service engineer (trouble-shooter). As the Company grew, Jack took on advancements to Technical Director and later to Tech Service Manager and to Research Manager and spent 38 years growing with that same company as they went through several mergers and acquisitions until he retired at 67. He was especially proud of the friends he made in his work; some of those that he worked for, with, and those who worked for him. Jack wrote several technical papers, presented several technical training sessions, both inter-company and in-customer’s facilities. Jack was active in the technical societies associated with his field, and presented over 40 technical speeches at society meetings. He received several awards for some of his papers; the final paper being written and published in March 2013. Jack was proud of a major award for work done in ASTM, as well as being invited to write a chapter on his field of work for a major technical encyclopedia, Kirk-Othmer. He worked in all the industrial States in the continental USA and in most of the western European countries.

Among the many things Jack was proud of includes building his own home, with no mortgage. He was quick to acknowledge that he had a lot of help from his Dad and his friends, and was able to move into the home within 11 months of digging for the foundation....with a shovel.... finally, on New Years Day, 1959. During that period, he was only able to work on the home on week-ends, nights after work, and a two-week vacation. Jack was also quick to say that he built the home because he couldn’t afford to buy one. One of Jack’s complaints: To put the property taxes in perspective, the present annual property tax amounts to more than 150% higher than the total cost to build the home, and move into in 1958.

Another action Jack took pride in was to take in his wife Lu’s parents, when they were no longer able to work. (Lu was an only child). Jack built an addition to his home for them. Lu’s father lived 16 more years, and Lu’s mother lived over 25 years with them before a stroke put her in a nursing home for the rest of her time. Jack always claimed there was a benefit for his kids to be raised in a household with three generations. The down-side meant only one wage-earner in the 11 people around the dinner table. Examples that Jack has used to illustrate this: We had a “milkman” who delivered milk daily who prized us as a great customer; typically over 60 quarts per week. He would deliver, rain, snow, or shine, right into the fridge. One extreme time, when a heavy snow had closed our road, the milkman waded through the deep snow for the last quarter mile to deliver the milk. The kids knew him by name. At times, Lu knew his route and some of the folks ahead of us on his route, and would leave a message asking “Dave” to pick up a loaf of bread or whatever, on his way for Lu. Eleven people at the table also meant a box of cereal each day, a roll of toilet paper each day, a washing machine that ran every day. At one period, we had four kids in diapers......all cloth diapers! It took a magician to make up the menu for the week, and a decent wage-earner to support it. Jack knew his main job was to be a “provider”, and realized that cut into his time of being a father.

Jack was also proud of being a survivor. In 1994, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which had begun to metastasize into some lymph nodes. He went through surgery for removal of the tumor and part of the colon, and then a whole year of weekly ‘chemo’. (It was this that resulted in his retirement). Jack related how he had read many accounts of cancer survivors when he was first diagnosed, and, with Lu’s wide interest in homeopathic medicines, decided to add this knowledge to the conventional medical treatments for cancer. He kept notes, and after talking some friends, who had become cancer patients, into using this information, and who had experienced similar benefits, put it all together in a “Regimen” document. He realized it was a hard sell, but continued to send out his “Survivor’s Letter” and the details of the “Regimen” (A list of the several vitamins, minerals, and supplements). Jack continued to feel that the Regimen helped in curing his cancer, and continued to send out copies to anyone.

Jack has also survived heart by-pass surgery after a heart attack in 2002. He has been a Type II Diabetic for over ten years, and often boasted of his good luck.

This obit would not be complete without mentioning Jack’s care-giving responsibility for over the past sixteen years for his wife, Lu. She had suffered a burst aneurysm deep in her brain, usually fatal, but underwent some unusual catheter surgery, up through the heart, to ‘patch’ the defect. After several weeks in a coma, Lu was released to Jack as being in a ‘persistent vegetative state’. It is a big tribute to Jack and his children that they nurtured this 65-year-old, day-old baby back, at least part-way to full-recovery. Lu required 24/7 care, but retained a good long-term memory, enjoyed shopping and TV, and her two rescue dogs, which pulled her wheelchair on near daily walks around the neighborhood. Jack was particularly grateful for all the help from sons, Mick and Bill, who had taken over the full care for the past several years. Lu passed away on July 24, 2014, at the home she loved.

Jack was active in arranging and promoting high school class reunions from the 25th to the present. He often told of how he felt he liked the whole class of 73 students . He enjoyed his high school years, did well in marks, played first clarinet in the band, 4-years of varsity baseball, two-years of varsity football, and two-short for basketball.

Jack’s favorite hobbies included gardening, fishing and hunting. He started gardening as his family grew and often had several gardens, eventually with a big garden behind his work place. He still gardened around his home up to his final year. He was an avid fly fisherman for trout in the rivers. (No Worms!) He fished for steelhead during the Spring runs in the rivers that fed Lake Superior; starting while going to school at Mich Tech and continued for many years afterwards. He enjoyed the fishing trips, as a single man, into Northern Ontario and the deep sea trips out of Florida, as well as the fishing trips on Chesapeake Bay. He has always wanted to go back to the trout fishing rivers in Missouri.....crowded, but fun. He grew up on Commerce Lake and spent a great deal of time fishing.....and the family had many fish fries from his efforts. Hunting started as a family affair and continued until he was 83, when he gave up deer hunting in the U.P. He had lost the killer instinct more than 20 years before, but always enjoyed the hunting.

Jack rejoined his beloved wife Lu, whom he called ‘Frenchy’, on Sunday, March 6, 2016.
Burial will be at Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens in Novi, MI

A great friend, husband, and father, he will be remembered fondly and missed daily.

Funeral services by Lynch & Sons, 404 East Liberty Street, Milford, MI 48381
Visitation for family and friends will be Thursday, March 10th from 4-8 PM. Funeral on Friday, March 11th at 2:00 PM.
As a lover of animals and children, in lieu of flowers, Jack wanted donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Au Sable Valley Animal Shelter in Grayling MI.(

For further information phone Lynch & Sons, Milford at 248-684-6645.

Previous Events





4:00 PM 3/10/2016 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 3/10/2016 8:00:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford

404 E. Liberty Street
Milford, MI 48381

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford
404 E. Liberty Street Milford 48381 MI
United States





2:00 PM 3/11/2016 2:00:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford

404 E. Liberty Street
Milford, MI 48381

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Milford
404 E. Liberty Street Milford 48381 MI
United States

Cemetery Details


Oakland Hills Cemetery Final Resting Place

43300 Twelve Mile Road
Novi, MI 48381

43300 Twelve Mile Road Novi 48381 MI
United States

Memorial Contribution

AuSable Valley Animal Shelter

AuSable Valley Animal Shelter, Building Fund, P.O. Box 384, Grayling, MI 49738

St. Jude Children’s Hospital

501 St Jude Place
Memphis , TN 38105

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