Elva June Collins Horn, 86, Bealeton, Virginia, died peacefully at home surrounded by family, late Tuesday evening, September 12, 2017.
Mrs. Horn was born June 16, 1931, in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, to the late Francis George Collins and Jeanette Irene Heverline Collins.
She grew up on her family's farm working and learning the necessary skills to help her parents and two sisters survive the Post Depression Era in a farmhouse that lacked running water. Her daily year round chores included milking cows, gathering eggs, cooking, canning, cleaning, washing clothes with water from rain barrels and sewing. She recalled recovering from a serious foot injury from a pitchfork feeding hay to cows and having to be given a bath in tomato juice as a child after being sprayed by a skunk.
At her confirmation May 1946, Trinity Evangelical & Reformed Church in Dorseyville, Pennsylvania, her memory verse was Eph. 4. 32.: “Be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.:
She was a 1949 graduate of Hampton High School, and was an office and clerical employee for Pittsburgh Pipe and Coupling before marrying United States Navy Seaman Recruit William “Bill” Horn on June 9, 1952. Although Elva and Bill first met as 6-year-olds in first grade and attended the same schools throughout their public education, they didn’t begin dating until after graduation. Elva and Bill had five children in 10 years, and moved as Bill’s work with the United States government needed, first to be near the Chincoteague Auxiliary Naval Air Station, Virginia, then the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, then finally to Fauquier County, Virginia, to be near Vint Hill Farms Station, a United States Army and National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence and electronic warfare facility.
As her husband’s work required him to be away often and sometimes for weeks at a time, Elva handled raising five children and running the household by herself. She was a self-taught musician who played “by ear.” She could perform proficiently, and to her family’s enjoyment, the accordion, piano (since 5 years old), organ, and auto-harp. As her children grew and moved away, she began to work outside the home, including at Ennis’ Country Store, Morrisville; Jordan-Kitts Music Store, Fredericksburg; and she had also played the organ on weekends in area restaurants.
A 10-year survivor of lung cancer, she succumbed to congestive heart failure. She was the mother of five, grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of five.
Survivors include her husband of 65 years, William Fred Horn Jr. of Bealeton; her children and their spouses, Janet Irene Horn; Karen Horn Bell Cummings and husband John, Susan Horn Mason Chappell, Cathy Horn and husband George DeRuiter and William Russell Horn and wife Lilly; her grandchildren and their spouses, Valerie Bell Schlang and husband Jason, Brandon Heisey, Julie Bell Raflo and husband Scott, Christopher Heisey and wife Nikki, Hannah Mason Kahler and husband Jacob and William Tyler Horn, and her great-grandchildren, Zachariah Horn Kahler, twins Zayne and Oliver Raflo, Evelyn Heisey, and Corbin Schlang.
Private graveside services took place Monday, September 18, at the Culpeper National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later time.
Condolences may be sent to The Horn Family, 13110 Marsh Road, Bealeton, Virginia, 22712.