Former state senator, county leader and Kettering mayor recalled as leader

Former state Sen. Chuck Horn, who also served as Kettering mayor and a Montgomery County commissioner, has died. He was 98.

Horn, who died Dec. 3, was an attorney and a World War II veteran. He was Kettering’s mayor for 11 years after serving six years on city council.

Horn was elected county commissioner in 1980 and later served four terms in the Ohio 6th Senate District seat before retiring in 2000, according to his obituary.

County commissioners Wednesday noted some of Horn’s work had national impact.

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“The entire county and region owes a debt of gratitude to Charles Horn,” the commission said in a statement. “He served at the local, state and federal levels, from Kettering City Council and the Ohio Senate to committee appointments from both Presidents Ford and Carter.

“Chuck achieved his political success by working across the aisle, working with both Democrats and Republicans to best serve all the constituents. He will be missed by the entire county and the fruits of his efforts will long be a part of the region,” they added.

Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner, in a statement issued Wednesday, called Horn “an important trailblazer for the Kettering community” and “an extraordinary leader.”

Horn “led our city during a time when it was named the fastest growing municipality in Ohio, and the quality of life for residents remained his priority,” according to the statement. “He made certain his purpose on earth touched the lives of many, and he leaves us in awe and inspired to do our part.”

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As Kettering’s mayor from 1969-81, Horn became involved in creating what is now the Miami Valley Communications Council. He brought the Tour of Kettering to Holiday at Home and advocated for a regional bikeway system, officials said.

Horn was elected as the sole Republican on the county commission in 1980 before winning the state senate seat four years later.

“By 1984 Chuck was getting national attention for his work on the Inter-Governmental Science, Engineering and Technology Advisory Panel,” according to his obituary. “He served for six years under presidential appointment during both the Ford and Carter administrations. He was also recognized for his work with the National League of Cities.”

Horn was born July 20, 1924 and grew up on a farm near Bellefontaine in Logan County. He enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 and became a corporal in the Army Air Corps as part of the Flying Tigers fighter squadron.

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Horn earned an electrical engineering degree from Purdue University before obtaining his law degree from Cleveland State University. He and his family moved to Kettering in 1960.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Elaine Horn; two of their three children: Holly E. Horn (Benjamin Maucere) and Charles J. Horn (Caroline) and several other relatives.

A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Jan. 12 at David’s United Church of Christ, 170 W. David Road in Kettering.

Donations may be made to: Camp Kern, by phone 513-932-3756 or mail a check to YMCA Camp Kern, 5291 State Route 350, Oregonia, OH 45054.

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