Monday, March 17, 2008
Businessman Gave Back to City
By Jeremy Hunt
Journal Staff Writer
Philanthropist H.B. Horn was a people person.
"Everybody he met, he liked, and they liked him," said Tom Horn, a son. "He touched so many people. There'll be a waiting line outside his funeral. There won't be enough seats. I guarantee it."
H.B. Horn died of heart failure Sunday in his Albuquerque home. He was 91.
Born in Kentucky, Horn moved to Albuquerque in 1921. He graduated in 1934 from Albuquerque High, where he met his wife of 69 years, Lucille.
A dedicated businessman, he and his brother Calvin started Horn Oil Co. in 1938, which he operated until 1977. It began as a single gas station, but it became one of the largest independent gas and oil distributors in the Southwest, with a chain of more than 30 locations.
He also worked in real estate and developed a shopping mall, a bowling alley, a medical center, a theater and some hotels. He stayed involved in real estate until he died.
He and his brother donated land to the YMCA Camp Shaver in the Jemez Mountains.
Hard work made him one of New Mexico's wealthiest residents, and Tom Horn said his father felt he had "a responsibility to give back to the community."
H.B. Horn was very active with First Baptist Church on Broadway NE. He was also involved in many philanthropic and civic organizations, including the United Way and the Albuquerque Rotary Club.
In 2006, the Rotary Club named Horn a living legend, and he was named to the Senior Hall of fame by Silver Horizons. He was the Association of Fundraising Professionals 2007 outstanding leader in philanthropy.
In 2005, the H.B. Horn Foundation made a challenge grant to the YMCA of Central New Mexico to match all private pledges and contributions up to $1 million. Since then, the Heights YMCA on Indian School NE has been renamed the H.B. and Lucille Horn YMCA. The Horns also pledged $1 million to the United Way in 2006.
But donating money was only one of the ways Horn helped people.
If anyone had a problem, H.B. was the person to talk to, Tom Horn said.
"My dad probably gave free advice to more people than most ministers," he said. "I seldom did anything that was important in my life that I didn't consult my dad about. If I followed his advice, things always turned out fine."
H.B. Horn precedes his wife, Lucille, in death. He is survived by his sons Tom and Benton, both of California. He also had four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church on Broadway near Central NE.