Our beloved and devoted husband, father and grandfather, Ron Horlacher, passed away peacefully at home on January 19, 2023. He was 93 years old.
Ron was a man of integrity. While he was physically strong and a manly man, he was also a good and gentle man. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to others and he was non-judgmental. As Mom said, “He was perfectly at ease with a prince or a pauper.” He possessed an abundance of loyalty and kindness towards family and friends. He was an honorable man. Ron was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ron was born to Harry Hearne Horlacher and Susan Eliza Christiansen on June 15, 1929 in Ely, Nevada. He was the eldest of ten children, five brothers and four sisters who stayed close and connected all their lives. Ron’s family moved to Pioche, Nevada. He developed a strong family bond and work ethic working at the family owned grocery and butcher shop with his parents and siblings.
Ron was drafted into the Air Force while attending Brigham Young University. He served four years during the Korean Conflict where he was stationed in England. He met and married Kathleen June Moore in 1952. After daughter April was born they returned to the United States. Kay passed away from cancer in 1956 shortly after giving birth to son John who also died.
Ron met Audrey one Sunday in San Francisco when she was the speaker at church. Ron was smitten and Audrey told her girlfriends “I just met the man I am going to marry.” For their first date Ron asked her to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. He told Audrey he would give her a nickel if she would hold his hand. Ron later wrote, “Fighting through fierce competition, I won her hand”. They were married in the Los Angeles Temple in November 1957. They have been married for 65 years.
Son Kenneth and daughter Dana were born in San Francisco.
In 1963 the family moved to Los Angeles where Ron worked as a hearing reporter for the LAPD and served as Bishop in the Highland Park Ward. Daughter Heidi was born in Los Angeles.
Late one night the family was driving home from Pioche, Nevada when Heidi mentioned she had never seen a falling star. Dad promptly pulled over and we watched the vast desert sky until Heidi saw her first falling star. That is the kind of Dad he was.
In 1973 the family moved to Bakersfield where Ron served as a court reporter for the Kern County Superior Court until his retirement.
Ron had a great interest in raising cattle and kept a small herd for many years. All of his grandchildren have fond memories of going with Grandpa to feed the cows, ducks and chickens and getting thrilling wheelbarrow rides around the pasture.
Growing up in a mining town instilled a lifelong interest in mines and rock hounding. Dana loved exploring the hills above Pioche with Dad. They loved to drop rocks into abandoned mines and count to see how deep they were. He entered his Lapis Lazuli collection in the Kern County Fair and won the blue ribbon grand prize.
Ron was also an expert gardener. He grew apricots, peaches, lemons and pomegranates in the yard and a cutting garden for Audrey so she could fill their home with flowers. He could name any flower or plant and identify every crop growing in the fields.
Ron developed a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of Nevada where he enjoyed the wide open spaces. He would often feel the need to “ go and smell the sagebrush”. He loved to drive to his farm in Bullionville and camp under the stars with his faithful dogs Reebok and Nike.
We will greatly miss him, his sense of humor, and the love he expressed to each of us.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Kay and his infant son John, and later, his adult son Kenneth and his granddaughter Stephanie. He is survived by his wife Audrey, his daughters April (James) Thomas, Dana Kummer, Heidi (Keith) Pfeffer and grandchildren Gillian Thomas, Lauren (Marshall) Dunn, Grayson Kummer and great-grandchildren Kendall and Reagan Dunn.
Services will be deferred in Tooele, Utah.