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Kenneth H. Horn, DMD

February 15, 1926 - December 6, 2019

Kenneth H. Horn, DMDKenneth ‘Doc’ Horn took his final and greatest flight on Friday, December 6th, 2019.


Aside from his family, flying was his greatest joy. He started flying in 1958, and continued flying until health prevented it at the age of 91.  Giving up piloting airplanes from his airstrip, Kingston Airpark, was a tremendous disappointment for him, and he held out hope to recover enough to fly again.

Ken was born in the mining town of Cardin, OK on February 15th, 1926, the 2nd of 4 children.  He often assisted his father in repairing the mining equipment & giant turbine engines while growing up, which taught him how to repair practically anything, which he put to good use over his lifetime.  He rebuilt many car and airplane engines, built his hangars and barns and could build, rewire, or repair almost anything. 

Leaving his senior year of high school as soon as he was old enough to enlist, he joined the war effort in 1945, serving in the US Navy Medical Corps. As a result of his early departure from school, Ken never technically graduated from high school. Despite this, after the end of WWII, he attended Willamette University on the GI Bill, graduating in 1951. He was admitted to University of Oregon School of Dentistry, receiving his DMD in 1958.
While attending Willamette University, Ken was hired as a lab technician at Salem Hospital by the lab supervisor, Dorothea Morse. They were married in 1952 and had 3 children.

Ken started his dental practice in Stayton, OR in 1958, and after selling his practice in 1993, he continued practicing part-time, seeing patients a few days a week and working in the free dental van, finally retiring at the age of 91 after 60 years of practice.

During his years practicing in Stayton, he was a founding member of Santiam Memorial Hospital, served on the board of directors and was on the medical staff for many years. He was a strong believer in giving back, which resulted in him going on medical missions to Haiti and Mexico as a member of Northwest Medical Team, and to China with other medical professionals before it was opened to outsiders.

He was a founding member of the Stayton Rotary Club, and very active in Rotary district activities. He lived the Rotary moto of ‘Service Above Self’, guided in life by the Rotary 4-way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair? Is it beneficial to all concerned, and does it build goodwill and better friendship?

Throughout his adult life he was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Salem, involved in numerous committees and helping operate the Lord’s Cupboard (foodbank.)

He loved music and had a beautiful baritone voice, singing in the church choir for many years.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing trips and trips to the Oregon coast with friends and family. A trek by horseback and pack mule up into the Jefferson Wilderness was a particularly cherished memory.

He was a lifelong learner, taking up skiing and guitar lessons in his 40’s, running in his 50’s, and teaching himself to play the piano and use a computer in his 80’s. He enjoyed reading, especially biographies of political figures.

He is preceded in death by his wife Dorothea in 2003, brothers William Horn and Don Horn, brother-in-law Jim Walters, sisters-in-law Geraldine Horn and Marie Horn.  He is survived by his three children, Kendall Horn of Sublimity, Rebecca Horn of West Linn, and Priscilla Horn of Fairfield, CA; his grandson Austin Horn of Sublimity; sister Charlene Walters of Salina, OK; and many nieces and nephews.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Lords Cupboard at Trinity United Methodist Church; Salem Dental Vans, c/o Medical Teams International  P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207; or Rotary International .

Funeral service to be held 11 a.m. Saturday, 21 December, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 590 Elma Ave SE in Salem. Reception following at the church.

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Dr. Horn was my dentist since I was a teenager. (I’m now 75).  I was always impressed by his kindness. When I was a nursing student he always gave me a “professional discount “ which was more than helpful in those days. I have thought about him a lot. He will be missed but he leaves a great legacy.