David L. Horne, 76, Santa Claus

David L. Horne, 76, Santa Claus, died today, Sept. 19, 2013, at Scenic Hills Care Center in Ferdinand.

He was born in Dixfield, Maine, Oct. 10, 1936, to Harold Horne and Evelyn (Starbird) Irish. He married Catherine Knauer on Aug. 22, 1959.

Surviving are his wife, Catherine Horne; a son, Shane Horne and wife Sharon of Haubstadt; a daughter, Holly Smith and husband Matt of Evansville; two brothers, Donald Horne and wife Lynn of Dixfield and Mark Irish of West Peru, Maine; two sisters, Mairjke Jones and husband William of Spring Hill, Fla., and Wendy Weber and husband Robert of Herndon, Va.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Troy Horne.

Maj. Horne retired in 1979 from the U.S. Marine Corps, which he joined after graduating from high school in 1955. He was involved in the Cuban missile crisis and was in one of the first units to set foot on the soil of the Republic of Vietnam during that war. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1967 and then returned to Vietnam as commanding officer of the 1st Marines Division. He stepped on a land mine in 1969 and spent several months learning to walk again. In 1971, he was made commander of Security Company, Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In 1974, he was assigned to the inspector instructor staff in Evansville. After retirement, he was employed by Nerco Coal Co. as manager of transportation in Indiana.

In 1998, he participated in the American Lung Association’s Big Ride Across America; he completed the 3,000-mile bicycle ride from Seattle to Washington, D.C., in 47 days.

Maj. Horne was the recipient of two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Presidential Unit Citations; two Naval Unit Citations; two Good Conduct Awards; the National Defense Medal; the Marine Expeditionary Medal; five Republic of Vietnam service awards; the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and other awards.

Private graveside service will be held at later date in Dale Cemetery.

Bradley’s Colonial Funeral Chapel in Boonville is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be shared at www.bradleyscc.com.

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