Last OMA President Col. John Horne Passes Away at 87

Col. John Horne – the last president of Oklahoma Military Academy, the predecessor institution of Rogers State University – recently passed away in Norman at the age of 87.

Graveside services were held in his hometown of Chickasha, Okla.

Col. Horne was president of OMA when the American flag was lowered for the last time at the esteemed military institution when it closed in 1971. He then became the first president of Claremore Junior College, later serving on a transition team with new CJC President Richard Mosier.

He was named an OMA Distinguished Alumnus in 1991 and inducted into the OMA Hall of Fame in 1995.

Col. Horne attended both elementary and junior high school in Chickasha. He graduated from high school in 1937 and junior college in 1939 at Oklahoma Military Academy. He was a Cadet Colonel and Regimental Cadet Commander in 1939 and upon graduation, received the Outstanding Cadet Award from the Cavalry. He enrolled in the fall of 1939 at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

Before he graduated from OU, he was called to active duty in October 1941 by the Army Air Corps. During his Air Force career, he served overseas in the Philippine Islands, Japan, Greenland and Europe.

Col. Horne had a varied and interesting career. He served as Civilian Personnel Officer at Tinker Air Force Base, Adjutant and Squadron Commander in Greenland, Professor of Air Science and Detachment Commander at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., Assistant Chief of Education and Operations at Air Force ROTC Headquarters, Maxwell AF Base in Montgomery, Ala., Adjutant General of Allie Air Forces Central

Europe in France, Chief of the Personnel Services Division, Headquarters in Washington D.C., and the USAF Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

While in Headquarters USAF in the Pentagon, he served on two special assignments as Air Force Representative to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and as Air

Force Representative on President Kennedy’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces.

His last assignment before retirement with 30 years of service was as Deputy Chief of Staff Personnel at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was awarded the second-highest non-combat medal, the Legion of Merit, with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1968, he was appointed president of Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore.

In 1972, he joined the New York Life Insurance Company as an agent and field underwriter. He retired as an active agent in 1994, but retained a retired agent’s contract until his death.

Col. Horne graduated from the Civilian Personnel School at Kelly Field, Texas; the Air Tactical School at Tyndall Field, Fla.; and the Air Command and Staff College at

Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1953 with a B.A. in economics, Magna Cum Laude, and from OU in 1978 with a master of liberal studies degree.

He was a member of Rotary International and a Paul Harris Fellow. He also was a member and elder of the First Christian Church in Norman.

Col. Horne was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie; grandson, Taylor Erwin Faulkner; parents, W.W. and Grace E. Horne; brother, W.E. (Bill) Horne; and three sisters, Amy Hunter, Lois Kelly, and Elizabeth Lindsay.

Survivors include his daughters, Bonnie McKeever of Tulsa, and Mary and her husband, Dave Faulkner of Claremore; grandsons, John C. Flick, Matthew A. and wife, Robin Flick, Paul R. Flick, and David Foreman Faulkner; and great-grandson, Sean Matthew Flick.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bonnie Horne fund at the First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster, Norman, Okla., 73069, or the Col. John E. Horne Scholarship Endowment at the RSU Foundation, 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, Okla., 74017.