LARRY HORN | 1961-2006: Trustee able to put all at ease

W. Bloomfield has 45 days to fill seat


May 31, 2006

Memorial contributions

Donations in the memory of Larry Horn can be made to the American Diabetes Association, 30300 Telegraph Road, Suite 117, Bingham Farms 48025.

For information or to make a donation, call 248-433-3830, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Donations also can be made to the American Heart Association, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago 60674.

For information or to make a donation, call 800-242-8721 anytime.

In a township known for bitter political divides, West Bloomfield Trustee Larry Horn was known for his evenhandedness, his gentle nature and his ability to put people at ease.

Horn, 44, died suddenly Friday.

"Even though he was always on the other side of the political table, he was always a warm guy," said Todd Kokko, who ran as a Republican but lost to Horn, a Democrat, in the township's 2004 elections. "With him, it was always may the best man win, and good luck."

Horn, who was in the second year of his 4-year term, was working out at the PowerHouse Gym on Orchard Lake Road when he suffered a massive heart attack.

Horn is to be interred in Chicago today. A funeral service was held Tuesday at the Dorfman Chapel in Farmington Hills.

His death leaves a vacancy on the Board of Trustees that must be filled within 45 days by a majority trustee vote.

Getting a majority vote may be difficult, as the board now has three Democratic men and three Republican women.

If the board can't reach a majority, the Oakland County clerk must schedule a special election on a regular election date -- the earliest possible being Nov. 7. The winner would serve out the rest of Horn's term.

Any resident who is a registered voter is eligible for nomination.

Trustee Stuart Brickner recalled what a good listener Horn was, and how the often quiet trustee, who had never held public office before 2004, would listen with patience to the arguments on all sides of any issue.

Horn, who had lived in the township for more than 20 years, was a graduate of Michigan State University and part owner of the West Bloomfield branch of Keller Williams Realty.

He is survived by two daughters, Marisa and Nikki; his parents, Beverly and Zal Horn; a brother, Phil Horn, and a sister, Sue Horn.

At Tuesday's service, Stuart Skylar, a longtime friend, recalled how he could tell his buddy the same story a million times and still elicit the same genuine laugh as the first time he'd told the joke.

"It seems a cruel irony that his heart gave out on him," said Skylar, "because it never gave out on anyone else."


Article published Jun 1, 2006
Trustee Larry Horn dies suddenly

West Bloomfield Township trustee Larry Horn will be remembered for his family dedication and political ambitions.

"The first time I really had a chance to talk to Larry in person was when we were both running for office for the first time. He was very eager to make a positive difference in our community," West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sheryl Mitchell said. "The last time I saw him was at the parent orientation for incoming ninth-graders at West Bloomfield High School. We were commiserating that it was hard to believe how fast our 'babies' had grown up. I don't recall ever seeing Larry without one or both of his daughters being with him. He will be sorely missed."

Horn, 44, died Friday, following a heart attack after exercising at PowerHouse Gym in West Bloomfield.

"It just goes to show you how short life is sometimes," Supervisor David Flaisher said. "It's extremely sad."

Horn collapsed at about 6 p.m. May 26, said West Bloomfield Fire Capt. Joe Slawek. A gym employee was performing CPR on Horn when paramedics arrived.

Paramedics continued advanced life support and used an automated external defibrillator in an attempt to jump start his heart, Slawek said. Horn, however, was pronounced dead at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills.

"Most, if not all, health clubs have AEDs and are well aware of the benefits," Slawek said. "I can't comment on the cause of death and the use of an AED in his case."

According to the fire department, the gym Horn was at didn't have a defibrillator on site.

Horn, a Realtor, was elected to the board in November 2004.

When Horn, a Democrat, was elected to the board, it marked the first time in township history that the board held a Democratic majority.

However, trustees said Horn didn't vote along party lines.

"He voted his conscience most of the time," township Clerk Sharon Law said. "He didn't take sides. He was nonpolitical. He was a real asset to the township board.

"I'm just shocked and saddened. He was such a gentleman."

Horn is survived by parents Zal and Beverly Horn of Northbrook, Ill.; daughters Nikki Horn and Marisa Horn of West Bloomfield; brother Philip (Debbie) Horn of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; and sister Susan Horn of Murray, Utah.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 30, at The Dorfman Chapel in Farmington Hills. Internment will be in Chicago, Ill.

Charitable contributions can be made to the American Diabetes Foundation or the American Heart Association.