George R. Horner, 81, of Vermillion, died Thursday, April 4, 2013, at the Sanford Care Center, Vermillion.
George was born Dec. 1, 1931 in Sioux City, IA, the son of Samuel and Ann Marie (Lass) Horner. He grew up in Vermillion, SD and attended Vermillion schools, and graduated from high school in 1949. In high school, he participated in football, track, basketball and debate. After graduation, he attended The University of South Dakota, majoring in political science, and graduated in June, 1953. The fall of that year, he entered law school and received his law degree in June of 1956. He was admitted to practice in the state of South Dakota as well as the state of Nebraska. He was recognized for his legal service of 50 years by both states.
George married Terri (Terese) Van Overscheld June 27, 1954, in Custer. George and Terri had two children, Catherine Ann, born in Vermillion, in 1956 and Robert Allan born in Omaha, in 1958. After graduation from law school, he and Terri moved to Omaha, NE, where he was employed at USF&G Insurance Company as a claims attorney. They lived there for 10 years when George was promoted to adjuster in charge at the Grand Island office. In 1968, George became city prosecutor. George had a lifetime interest in sports and while living in Grand Island was a (volunteer) certified lifeguard for the YMCA. He was selected as a member of the All-Star Team in the Industrial Basketball league. He won swimming awards, and received trophies for his running. He was on the board of directors, Grand Island YMCA, board of deacons, First Presbyterian Church and president of the Central Nebraska Reserve Officers Association.
In 1969, George joined the faculty at The School of Business, University blood donor, an award winning photographer, and gardener. He retired from the School of Business Dec. 1996. Because George was a reserve officer, he was able to maintain his commitment to the Navy along with his commitment to The School of Business. He took his active duty during the summer and during the Christmas holidays. During his naval career, he was stationed for duty at The Pentagon, Norfolk, VA, Jacksonville, FL, Seattle, WA, Honolulu, HI, and San Francisco and Coronado, CA. George’s Naval career expanded 38 years (12 years enlisted and 26 years as a commissioned officer in Naval Intelligence). During his many tours of Naval service, George served as a summary courts martial officer, and acting inspector general, U.S. Naval Intelligence Command. He was 3rd Fleet intelligence officer during Operation “Jennifer” (recovery of a sunken Soviet submarine in the1970s). George was intelligence officer on staff in Operation “Varsity Spring” and in Operation “Kernal Bogey” which were two of the largest combined fleet exercises in the Pacific during the Cold War. He wrote a brief for the President of the United States regarding the prisoners of war in Viet Nam. George held “Top Secret” clearance during his entire tenure as a commissioned officer.
George loved fishing and caught trout, bass, northern pike, walleyes, lake trout and pan fish, in more than a half dozen states and three provinces of Canada. He made several trips with friends to three Canadian provinces and received a Master Angler Award from the Province Ontario for season’s second largest walleye caught in the entire province.
He has successfully hunted deer, antelope, geese, ducks, quail, pheasants and grouse in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. He also enjoyed photography and took many outstanding pictures during his travels.
George is survived by his wife, Terri, of Vermillion; a daughter, Catherine Bennett (Bill) of Taos, NM and a son, Robert Horner (Audrey Hanken), of Milwaukee, WI; three grandchildren, Jasmine Cecelic (Zach), Ashley Horner and Alex Horner; five nieces; and one nephew. George was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Marilyn Heald.
Funeral service was held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at United Church of Christ, Vermillion. Donations appreciated to The Parkinson Foundation or The Salvation Army.
Kober Funeral Home, Vermillion, is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be posted online to www.koberfuneralhome.com.