Carmel – Dad went to the big race track in the sky Valentine's Night. His loving wife, Susan; daughter, Tiffany; and furry baby, Winston Marie, were by his side. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Every summer as a child, Dad came to California with his family and cherished the ride as he left behind the hot, dry summers of New Mexico. The family stopped along the way for date shakes, huge jars of pickles, and the like. The destination was Balboa Island where they would rent a boat and Dad would hardly be seen again until it was time to head home four weeks later. He loved the ocean and, during these early years, he made up his mind California is what was happening and he would not rest until he lived there.|
Racing was in his blood. In the 50s, he drove many races at Cormorant Motor Speedway in Albuquerque with Al Unser, Sr. and Bobby Unser. He made his way to California in 1960. Dad had a passion for all things automotive and possessed a keen ear and mechanical savvy. He combined these attributes and opened Bennie's El Cajon Douglas Station in 1961.
Dad loved cars and owned many beautiful automobiles including a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette, 1953 and 1954 Hudson Hornets and 1957 Ford Thunderbird, among many others. In 1971, he opened Horn Oil Co. of California in Huntington Beach, a full-service gas station built to his exact specifications.
Dad had many passions and talents. He was an avid deep sea fishermen, hunter and rebuilt his 1954 Hudson Hornet to show specs. A member of the Hudson Club and the Monterey Peninsula Corvette Club, he loved to show his cars and participate in auto rallies and car shows such as Concorso Italiano.
His ability to BBQ on his Weber kettle was well-known. Dad approached BBQ the way he did everything else, with attention to every detail carried out to perfection. He was an all-around excellent cook and prepared and passed down many family recipes.
Wanderlust struck again when he vacationed in Monterey and Carmel in the early 70s. He found his utopia. It took almost ten years until he was able to leave the smog of Southern California behind for the clear skies and stunning vistas of Carmel Highlands. He purchased his home, Casa del Pacifica, in 1981.
Dad continued pursuing his passion for cars, racing, cooking and family. He was very involved in Tiffany's grade school, Carmel River School. He organized Easter Egg hunts, chaperoned students on various field trips and purchased Christmas trees for the classroom each winter.
In 1989, he met Susan and they really were a couple! Susan's two children came to live with and be raised by Dad and Sue.
Dad was very generous and enjoyed being able to give back to his community. He was unique in every way, an unforgettable man who touched the lives of all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife and love of the last 25 years, Susan; loving daughter, Tiffany Polli, and her husband, John Polli; his son, Benny Horn and his wife, Julie Moon of Kingman, AZ; his daughters, Julia Horn of Albuquerque, NM and Lisa Morton of Rio Rancho, NM; step-daughter, Angela May of King George, VA and step-son, Sam May of Monterey, CA; his brother, Thomas Horn; and his auntie, Caesar Alexzander, both of San Francisco, CA.
Private burial has taken place. We will host an Irish Wake at Casa del Pacifica. For further information, please email IrishWake1938@gmail.com. Memorial donations may be made to the SPCA for Monterey County, P.O. Box 3058, Monterey, CA 93942. Please visit www.thepaulmortuary.com to sign Dad's guest book and leave messages for his family.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Feb. 21, 2014