OLEAN - James P. Hornburg of 536 York St. passed away Sunday (July 28, 2013) at his home.
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He was born July 7, 1923, in Wellsville. He was the oldest of four children of Earnest C. and Cornelia T. Hornburg. The family moved to Olean from Wellsville in 1926. Jim's maternal great-grandfather, Orville P. Taylor, drilled the first producing oil well in Allegany County in June 1879 and had a Liberty Ship named for him in World War II.
Jim went to Olean Public Schools - grades kindergarten through seventh at School 9 (Hillside), eighth grade at School 10 and Olean High School. He also attended Hiram (Ohio) College, where his mother and Mabel Wilson, an OHS math teacher, were classmates. Jim graduated from Hiram in 1944 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry, married Lonave A. Mannion and was drafted into service - all within three weeks. In the army for nearly two years, he was in basic training for the Infantry at Camp Croft, Spartanburg, S.C. During that time, he was a candidate for the Manhattan Project but was rejected because he had no industrial experience. He then spent 11 months in the Army Specialized Training Program for electrical engineering studies at North Carolina State College in Raleigh, N.C., for a potential assignment in the Signal Corps. After discharge, Jim obtained a Master of Science degree with a major in organic chemistry from St. Bonaventure, then stayed at the college for three years as a chemistry laboratory instructor. In 1949, Russell Houghton asked Jim to join Houghton Laboratories, known at different times as Vilex Corp., Hysol, Dexter, Locktite and Henkel. Jim had a number of positions - chemist, manager of technical services, manager of quality control, manager of electrical testing and, from 1975 to 1995, manager of regulatory affairs. He had been a member of the American Chemical Society for more than 56 years, the Society of Quality Control and the American Society of Testing and Materials. He was on the Advisory Committee for Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials to Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
In 1986, Congress passed the Superfund Amendments (Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act). Under that law and its regulations, each county in most states formed a Local Emergency Planning Committee. Jim was chairman of the Cattaraugus County committee from 1987 until 2005, continuing well past his retirement from Hysol Division of Dexter in 1995. Jim's assignments with Hysol required frequent travel - providing technical assistance to customers, meetings and seminars of the Society of the Plastics Engineers (SPI) to learn details and impacts of government regulations, to Hysol's three other domestic plants, and to Albany and other New York state cities for emergency planning meetings. Jim took Lonave on most trips since 1968. Jim's participation in the SPI lasted 33 years - in the Epoxy Resin Formulators (ERF) Division as a member of the Test Methods Committee, then in the Regulatory Affairs Committee, chairman of ERF Division and a member of the SPI Board of Directors and eight years as chairman of the Occupational Health and Environment Committee. SPI meetings were four to six times a year at its headquarters locations, initially in New York City then in Washington, D.C. He wrote several technical papers which were published and a newsletter on safety and health for the Society of Plastic Engineers (Buffalo Section).
Jim enjoyed gardening, building, maintaining a home, stamp collecting, model railroading, listening to classical music and writing newsletters to his grandchildren and for the Rotary Club. Earnest Hornburg was the second president of the Wellsville Rotary Club in 1921-22, then a charter member and first president of the Olean Rotary Club (1928-29). Jim joined Olean Rotary in 1952, was its president twice (1956-57 and 1973-74) and its longtime historian, continuing membership until recently. Jim had served the Boy Scouts and the United Way. In his retirement, he looked forward to Wednesday luncheons at Olean's Beef 'n' Barrel Restaurant with fellow members of the Olean ""ROMEO"" Group (Retired Old Men Eating Out).
Jim is survived by a son, John Robert (Jo Ellen) Hornburg of Columbia, Md.; a brother, Arthur (Laura) Hornburg of Plant City, Fla.; a granddaughter, Christine (Roland) Gorschboth of Ellicott City, Md.; great-grandchildren, Erin Kelsey and James Alan Gorschboth, both of Ellicott City; a grandson, Nathan (Christy) Hornburg of Malvern, Pa.; a son-in-law, Dr. Donald Grzankowski of Olean; grandsons, Dr. Alex Grzankowski of Lubbock, Texas, and Mark Grzankowski of Las Vegas; nephews, David Hornburg of Olean and Steven Hornburg of Arlington, Va.; and a niece, Susan Fichtelberg of Woodridge, N.J.
He was predeceased by a brother, John Robert, in 1938; his father, in 1977; his mother, in 1984; his sister, Doris Fichtelberg, in 2002, and her husband, Leo Fichtelberg, in 2003; his daughter, Jamie Hornburg Grzankowski, in 2004; his sister- in-law, Doreen, in 2010; and, most recently, his loving wife, Lonave A. Hornburg, on June 28, 2013.
As a boy, he was a member of the Methodist Church. He has been a member of St. Mary of the Angels Church for 38 years.
There will be no visitation. Jim has donated his body to the University at Buffalo. There may be a memorial service when his ashes are returned to Olean for burial.
Memorials may be sent to St. Mary of the Angels Church, 202 S. Union St., Olean, NY 14760; the Jamie Fund, Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, 120 N. Union St., Olean, NY 14760; or HomeCare & Hospice, 1225 W. State St., Olean, NY 14760.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Guenther Funeral Home Inc., 1303 E. State St., Olean.
Published in The Olean Times Herald on July 30, 2013
Guenther Funeral Home Inc
1303 E State St Olean, NY 14760