Karl Eugene Horn

Karl Eugene Horn slipped peacefully from his earthly bonds on Nov. 22, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. The eldest son of Donald and Ethel (Woodworth) Horn, Karl was born in Rochelle on Dec. 15, 1949. He graduated from Stillman Valley High School in 1968 and earned his associate's degree at Highland Community College in 1970.

On June 22, 1974, Karl and Kathy Crowe were married. Their plan for a woodsy creekside outdoor wedding was preempted by massive rain showers, and they married in the Lindenwood Union Church instead. Upon exiting the church as man and wife, they were greeted with a big, beautiful rainbow which foretold the beginning of their happy and enduring marriage of 48+ years including two daughters, Danielle and Adrienne; two new sons, Rick and Mike; and two grandsons, Ricky and Ari-with a third on the way.

Karl was a lifelong farmer, most notably on the Horn family's centennial farm, where he and Kathy eventually switched to-and still grow-acreages of hay and commercial cut flowers, both in the field and in three plastic hoop houses.

He also served the local farm community for 41 years in the employ of DeKalb Implement, as a John Deere Service Technician, for machinery such as planters and balers, but primarily for combine repair. He knew firsthand the importance of a smooth grain harvest and always strived to keep the farmers' combines rolling no matter the hour of the day or the weather constraints. Toss in his extensive collection of John Deere toys and memorabilia, and Karl was John Deere to his core!

An avid tool collector, Karl loved to scavenge flea and antique markets for old tools of all sorts from garden hand tools to woodworking, and blacksmithing to mechanical. One of his last woodworking projects was building a chicken house with recycled lumber and a plan in his head.

Karl loved his family and the camaraderie of camping trips, fishing, county fairs, zoos and gatherings. A talented kitemaker (he mastered the sewing machine), Karl and family attended and competed in many kite festivals (including the Smithsonian), winning numerous awards for their kite design creations. He has had some of his kites included in temporary exhibits at the U.S. Air Force Museum and served as vice chairman of the Midwest Area Kitemaker's Retreat (MAKR), begun by Kathy, and held for 20 years at Lorado Taft campus, Oregon. Karl also assisted in teaching kitemaking to hundreds of children, all across the local area at schools, scouts, churches and fests. For 15 years, the Horn family hosted "Farm Fly" in the hayfields and areas of their farm. A hundred or more kite flier families from far and wide would descend every August for a glorious day of flying, fellowship, and a great Midwestern picnic. More recently, Karl enjoyed introducing his passions to newly acquired sons, Rick Magana and Mike D'Amato, as well as grandchildren, Ricky and Ari (plus one on the way)! First up? John Deere indoctrination!

Karl leaves behind his loving wife, Kathy; daughters Danielle (Rick) Magana and Adrienne (Mike) D'Amato-Horn; grandchildren Ricky Magana and Ari D'Amato; mother-in-law Joanne Crowe; sister-in-law Audrey Hildebrand; brothers-in-law Larry Crowe and Michael Crowe; an aunt and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.

A very special thank you to the local volunteer fire departments and EMTs; the staff at Swedish American Hospital, especially in the critical care unit of the Heart Hospital; and all of the caring doctors along the way who have treated Karl's Parkinson's for the past 21 years.

A memorial visitation will be held on Feb. 4 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Kishwaukee Community Church, 8195 Kishwaukee Road, Stillman Valley. Memorials, should you wish, can be directed to the Michael J. Fox Foundation or the family.