June 16, 1931 - July 18, 2021
Samuel Stelwyn Hornbeck passed peacefully at age 90 in comfort care at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula on the morning of July 18, 2021. Survivors are daughter Janis Hornbeck Palm of Oakdale, California, daughter Jeanne Hornbeck (Lance) Pratt of Monterey, California, three grandchildren including John Palm, Michael (Dyan Smith) Palm and Elizabeth Pratt (Dillon Gardner). His sisters are Patricia Douglas of Paso Robles, California and Kathryn (Scott) Loring of Bend, Oregon. He is also survived by nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren, as well as his constant companion Daisy the cat.
Sam was born in Butte, Montana to Hallie Marie Hornbeck (born Whetstone) and Samuel Franklin Hornbeck. His beloved stepfather was Harry Stelwyn Irwin, from whom he adopted his middle name of Stelwyn. A graduate of North Hollywood High School class of 1946, Sam's Army career began at age 17, and soon after this he met and married Maxine Cass of Salinas. You know she was in for an adventure one way or the other! His career took him and the family to Japan, back to California, Korea, Texas, Germany, Kentucky and Ohio over the course of 26 years. The Sergeant Major retired in 1975, and he and Maxine made their home once again in the Monterey area. He joined the staff of the Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School in 1976. The library was his home for 34 years and the staff his family.
Sam was a talented trout fisherman, photographer, cartoonist, oil painter and expert prankster. His zest for life was pretty clear to all who knew him, and to many strangers he met along the way. He was a huge fan of Montana, aviation, and classic and antique cars. He was a terrible singer but that didn't stop him from enjoying and sharing all sorts of music, and he wasn't shy about spreading butter on cookies. He had a joke for everyone most every day, even for his caregivers at the end, and some of you remember the filthier ones. Wherever he is now, there are "tight lines," laughter and plenty of goofiness.
There was no more loving dad or husband.
The family would like to acknowledge that in the end, Sam was a tissue donor, giving the gift of better life to burn patients and cancer patients. He'd be proud to know he is an example to us to check "yes" for organ donation on that DMV application.
Sam chose cremation, and ashes will be scattered at sea along with those of Maxine. This and any memorial event will be planned at a later date. View the online memorial for Samuel Hornbeck
Published by Monterey Herald Obits on Jul. 30, 2021.