FORT LORAMIE - Homer Joseph Bornhorst, 89, of Fort Loramie, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
Homer, one of 12 children, was born on Feb. 10, 1924, in Anna, to Louis and Rose Bornhorst, both deceased. He attended McCartyville High School. In December 1944, Homer enlisted in the United States Merchant Marine, serving on various tankers through the end of World War II. He received an honorable discharge from the United States Coast Guard for his wartime service and a discharge from active duty from the United States Merchant Marine in December 1946. For the next few years he worked at various jobs in and around Sidney and Dayton, and also met the love of his life, Mary Lou Borchers, of Fort Loramie. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1949 and served as part of the Army of Occupation at Kokura, Kyshu, Japan. On Feb. 15, 1950, Homer was voluntarily separated from active service, returning to Ohio and continuing his service in the Army Reserve. He received an honorable discharge from the Army on Feb. 15, 1955.
On May 22, 1951, Homer was married to Mary Lou Borchers, who preceded him in death on Aug. 5, 2012. Since the time of their marriage, Homer and Mary Lou were major contributors to the civic and church life of Fort Loramie and were widely known for their untiring work for St. Michael Catholic Church, their steady support of friends and family in times of need, and their dashing moves on dance floors from the Caribbean to Honolulu. Homer devoted his life to his wife, his children, his community and his parish, where he served in various capacities, including as a leader of diocese-wide discussions on a variety of topics, a teacher of marriage preparation classes, a longtime member of the Adult Choir and the Funeral Choir, a Eucharistic minister and server, a collection counter and, in his capacity as a member of the St. Michael Cemetery Board, a primary caretaker of the St. Michael cemeteries.
After Homer returned from Japan, he took a job with Robert B. Oldham of Sidney, with whom he worked and built multiple structures in the area for 30 years. In 1961 he started a chicken farm and successfully operated it until 1992. Homer worked as a lathe operator for Wayne Trail Technologies Inc. from 1979 until his retirement in 1989. He had a lifelong devotion to woodworking and was a skilled craftsman, which led him to design and build many lovely projects for family, friends and the church. Homer believed that most, if not all, of life's problems could be resolved with wood, masking tape and Google. He built the first home for his young family, then completely remodeled and built an addition to his farm home, and later crafted all of the millwork, including many custom furniture pieces, for his retirement home in Fort Loramie.
Homer was a longtime member of the local chapter of Kiwanis International and in 2008 helped form the Fort Loramie Community Service Club. In 1995, he served as a grand marshal in the Liberty Days celebration of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. He was a regular and decorated donor to the Community Blood Center. Homer pursued the sport of golf with passion and intermittent joy.
Homer's greatest joy and passion, however, were his best friend, Mary Lou, and their four sons, two daughters and their spouses, all of whom survive him: Theodore J. and Laurie (Hanner) Bornhorst, of Houghton, Mich.; Richard J. and Stephanie (Hertenstein) Bornhorst, of Findlay; Mary Jo A. and Rhondale Haynes, of Springboro; William J. and Ann (Dugan) Bornhorst, of Roswell, Ga.; Katherine A. and Kevin Thomason, of Dallas, Texas; and Donald J. Bornhorst, of Sidney. He also took great pride and pleasure in the rest of his family and is also survived by 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by five of his 11 siblings: Norma Bensman, Lester Bornhorst, Urban Bornhorst, Eileen Borchers and Adella Brown, and is survived by his siblings: Ralph Bornhorst, of Sidney, Martha Borchers, of Newport, Paul Bornhorst, of Anna, Verona Poeppelman, of New Bremen, Dorothy Combs, of West Union, and Raymond Bornhorst, of Anna.
One of Homer's granddaughters appropriately dubbed him, "Born Doing," and Homer made a remarkable and memorable life out of "doing," always with a bright smile on his face and a joke in his back pocket. His memory will be cherished, and he will be deeply missed. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Community Foundation of Shelby County-Homer and Mary Lou Bornhorst Family Scholarship Fund benefiting Fort Loramie High School students (100 S. Main Ave., Sidney, OH 45365) or the American Heart Association.
Visitation is Wednesday, July 17, 2013, from 2 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, July 18, 2013, from 9 to 10 a.m. at Hogenkamp Funeral Home, Minster, with a funeral Mass on Thursday, July 18, 2013, starting at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, Fort Loramie. Burial will take place in St. Michael Cemetery.
Condolences may be made at www.hogenkampfh.com.
Published in Sidney Daily News on July 14, 2013