John Dee  Van Horn's Memorial

John Dee Van Horn
(1930 - 2011)


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General Details

Name: Mr John Dee Van Horn
Gender: Male
Age: 81 years old
Lived: Saturday, 15 November 1930 - Friday, 30 December 2011

My Story

John Dee Van Horn, 81, of Rolla, MO passed away December 30, 2011 after a long battle with heart disease.  He was born in Ashland, KY on November 15, 1930 to Abigail Skeens Van Horn and Apps Van Horn.  John graduated from Louisa High School, Louisa, KY in 1950 and Berea College, Berea, KY in 1954.  John married Eleanor Bruce Clem on December 30, 1954, and died on the fifty-seventh anniversary of their marriage.

Following graduation from Berea College, John worked for General Geophysical in Texas.  He was then drafted, and served in the US Army from 1955 to 1957.  After post-graduate study at the University of KY, John worked for Electric Boat in Groton, CT, and then joined the United States Geological Survey (USGS), where he worked from 1959 until his retirement in 1988 as Section Chief.  In 1989, John received the Superior Service Award of the US Department of the Interior.  This award was presented for significant contributions to the success of the National Mapping Program. During and after his career with the USGS, John was active in the American Society of Photogrammetry.  He also was active in the leadership of the Rolla Federal Credit Union, serving as its president for a time.  

After retirement, John and his wife Eleanor moved to Silver City, NM in 1994.  There they enjoyed hiking the high desert mountains with friends and traveling to Hawaii, Peru, Mexico, the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, and points beyond.  In 2007 they returned to Rolla, MO.  

John loved Rolla for the hunting and fishing opportunities, and no one could tell a better fish story than he.  John was also an avid genealogist, corresponding with many about the history of the Van Horn family in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.  John always had a vegetable garden, and was always happy to share what he grew.

John will be remembered by many for his stories about his life experiences.  He had a particular knack for making life in the 1930s and 1940s Appalachia accessible to those of later generations.  He was also able to relate his life experiences to others’ challenges.

John is survived by his wife Eleanor Clem Van Horn, his sons John Daniel (Marianne) and James Bruce, his daughter Susan Tudor (Phillip), and grandchildren Nicholas Long, Kiley Tudor, and Stephanie Gellerman.  He is also survived by his brother Larry Van Horn (Nancy) and was preceded in death by his sister Avonelle Sublett.  John is also survived in Rolla by an extended family including niece Jane McCaulla and family.

A Memorial service will be held January 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Rolla, 919 E. 10th St.  A reception will follow.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the First Presbyterian Church of Rolla (designated for the Memorial Garden) or Phelps County Regional Medical Center (designated for Home Health/Hospice).  You may contact the Presbyterian Church by mail at 919 E. 10th Street, Rolla, Missouri, 65401 or by phone at 573-364-3852.  You may contact Phelps Regional Healthcare Foundation by mail at P.O. Box 261, Rolla, MO 65401 or online at


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Rice Wine Memorial Tribute
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Cheers, Dad!
Candle Memorial Tribute
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Miss you, Dad!


Fathers Name: Apps Van Horn
Mothers Name: Abigail Skeens Van Horn
Spouse's Name: Eleanor Clem Van Horn
Children's Names: John Daniel Van Horn, James Bruce Van Horn, Susan Van Horn Tudor
Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
City of Residence: Rolla, MO
Occupation: Government
Marital Status: Married


Favourite Sport: Basketball
Favourite Team: University of KY Wildcats


Place of Passing: Rolla, MO
Date of Passing: 30 December 2011
Type of Funeral: Memorial Service
Funeral Date: 28 January 2012

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