Douglas Robert Hornbeck
Oct. 11, 1926 - Nov. 19, 2013
Douglas Robert Collins Hornbeck, 87, of Palo Alto, passed away at his home on Nov. 19, 2013. He was born and raised in Sidney, Nebraska, the only son of Glenn and Blanche Collins Hornbeck, where from an early age he showed a talent for and love of music. After his graduation from high school, he served from 1944 to 1945 in World War II
in the U.S. Navy
as a radioman on the destroyer escort U.S.S. Hayter. Upon his discharge from the Navy, Doug majored in music performance at the University of Colorado, receiving a Master's Degree in Music Education. It was in the college band that he met Marjorie Barngrover. She was to become his wife in June, 1951, and they shared 58 wonderful years of marriage before Margie's death in May 2009.
Douglas and Margie moved to CA in 1953, where he joined the Palo Alto Unified School District as a band director and music teacher, serving with distinction for over 45 years, eventually directing bands and jazz ensembles at all three of Palo Alto's high schools. He coordinated band music trips to Oaxaca, Mexico, and Enschede, Holland, personally started summer band concerts in Palo Alto, and played piano accompaniment to dozens of high school musicals and choir performances. In his later years, he also gave free piano lessons to numerous children and encouraged them to perform in recitals. Countless students benefited from Doug's commitment to music and teaching over the years. Doug also served faithfully for over 35 years as church organist and choir director at Palo Alto First Christian Church. He was an accomplished director of various church groups, including handbell choirs and gospel singing quartets. He is survived by four children, Cindy Prioste (Rich) of Santa Clara, CA; Julie Botsford (Paul) of Portland, OR; Dr. Robert Hornbeck (Vicki) of Jonesboro, AR; and Alicia Affolter (Tim) of Castlegar, BC, Canada; 20 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held on Wednesday, December 4 at 6pm at Palo Alto First Christian Church, 2890 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto. At his request, memorials can be sent to
of Memphis TN; Child Fund International; or Heifer Project.