Ralph F. Horender, 96 years of age, of River Road, Fort Plain (town of Danube), passed away Wednesday afternoon, January 22, 2014, at his residence with his loving family by his side following a brief illness.
He was born on June 21, 1917, in Keesler Corners (town of Minden), the son of the late Frederick J. and Goldie (Christman) Horender. He was educated in Keesler Corners Rural School and Fort Plain High School.
Mr. Horender was a veteran of World War II serving with the U.S. Army, entering the service on January 13, 1941. He served with the Second Armored Division "Hell on Wheels" as a Staff Sergeant in North Africa and European campaigns including Normandy, Central Europe and the Rhineland. He received several citations including the Bronze Star. Due to his welding ability he designed and built a machine gun turret mount at the request of General Patton for mounting on his personal jeep. The Army later patented this design. He was honorably discharged on September 10, 1945. Ralph used the GI Bill to attend Cornell University where he received a degree as a journeyman carpenter.
He was united in marriage to the former Kathryn Johnson on June 8, 1941. They enjoyed 47 years of blessed union and the birth of six children, including four sons and two daughters, until the passing of his beloved Kay on August 5, 1993.
On October 12, 1996, he was again united in marriage to the former Elizabeth (Medde) MacMillan.
Mr. Horender served his neighbors in the town of Danube as the Justice of the Peace from 1972-1979 and as a town councilman from 1982-1995. He also was a snow plow operator for the town from 1957-1965. He was ordained into the ministry as a chaplain in the NYS Chaplain's Association and received a Bachelor of Biblical Studies. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree. As a chaplain he officiated at countless wedding and funeral services as a dedicated Christian and minister of the Life of the Lord to one and all.
He was a member and served on the board of directors of the Indian Castle Church Restoration and Preservation Society and in that same capacity of the Indian Castle Cemetery Association.
In 1951 he founded Horender Construction Co. in Little Falls, where he continued to remain active along with his sons in the continued operation of that company.
Officially known as "The Hugger," his kind and gentle manner was a comfort to many. Having never met a stranger, he was always engaged in conversations and truly interested in getting to know everyone.
He is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth, of 17 years; his sons and their wives, Gary and Robin Horender, Wayne and Colleen Horender, Kevin and Lori Horender and Loren and Kimberly Horender, all of Little Falls; his daughters, Karen Dailey and her husband Bari of Atlanta, GA, and Susan Horton-Sinclair of Fort Plain. Between the two families he had 28 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Leonard and Frederick Horender; and his sisters, Hildegarde Salvione, Rosina Michalik, Doris Masi, Lana Erhardt and Shirley Trafton; and by his sons-in-law, Douglas Horton and Hugh Sinclair.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 27, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at the Oak Ridge Free Methodist Church, 838 W. German Street, Herkimer, NY. Interment will take place in Indian Castle Cemetery, town of Danube, in the spring with full military honors.
Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects at the Chapman-Moser Funeral Home Inc., 42 N. Ann Street, Little Falls, NY on Sunday, January 26, 2014, from 12 to 4 p.m. to attend the funeral services on Monday morning.
It is the wish of the family that contributions in memory of Mr. Horender be considered to the Indian Castle Church Restoration Society, P.O. Box 172, Little Falls, NY 13365, or to Hospice and Palliative Care, 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413. Envelopes are also available at the funeral home for this purpose.
Online remembrances can be made at www.chapmanmoser.com.