Norwood C. Horne

Norwood C. Horne

May 26, 1921 - August 19, 2016

Norwood C. Horne

May 26, 1921 - August 19, 2016


May 26, 1921 – August 19, 2016

Norwood Caswell Horne was born in the very small North Carolina town of Magnolia. In his teens he worked summers driving trucks along the east coast, setting up pins at a bowling alley, and lifeguarding at Wrightsville Beach, NC. He later attended North Carolina State University for 1 year to play basketball for the Wolfpack.

World War II broke out in September of 1939. Norwood joined the Navy in September of 1941 and was chosen for immediate sea duty, assigned to the Destroyer, Jesse Roper. Three months later, when the U.S. joined the war following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Norwood and his Roper shipmates saw considerable action. The Roper sank a German U-boat off the coast of North Carolina; was hit by a kamikaze plane; picked up survivors of sinking ships; and transported many foreign troops.

While in the service he traveled the world, going to Okinawa, Newfoundland, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Europe, the Panama Canal and both US coastlines. He received an honorable discharge in October of 1945 after receiving two battle stars for the European-African-Middle East campaign, one battle star for the American campaign, another battle star for the Asiatic-Pacific campaign and a World War II Victory medal. He loved his time in the Navy and it was a highlight in his life.

In 1946 he began taking flying lessons and in September went to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend Spartan Aeronautical Engineering School. He loved to fly, so he took flying lessons and logged as many hours as possible. In 1948 he spent some time as a roustabout working in the oil fields, until he was eventually hired in 1949 by United Airlines. He began as a Flight Engineer in New York flying on DC-6 airplanes.

Norwood was a young, eligible bachelor in New York until he met a pretty stewardess named Betty Jean Long. They were married in November of 1950 and the newlyweds enjoyed the clubs in New York featuring the Big Bands and Dixieland Jazz. In 1953 their daughter Betty Louise was born. Norwood, Betty Jean and Betty Louise moved to Southern California in 1955 and shortly after their daughter Carol Ann was born in January of 1956. Six years later, in 1962, their son John Norwood was born. Norwood, a man of many talents, helped build his dream custom home in Costa Mesa in 1965. Norwood and Betty Jean, or BJ as she was known, loved to travel and over their lifetime together they made many trips across country and to more remote destinations like Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, Cuba, Canada, South America, and Japan.

In May of 1981 Norwood retired from United Airlines after 32 years of flying. Norwood and BJ moved to Oceanside in 1984, but Norwood got bored in retirement. To fight the tedium of retirement, Norwood transported RV’s across country and started building four townhouses on his property in Carolina Beach, NC. He and BJ continued to travel across country and occasionally to Europe.

In 2000 Norwood and BJ moved into Freedom Village to help care for BJ who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. In December of 2001 Norwood was baptized at Saddleback Church where he worshiped weekly for the next 15 years. Norwood read the Bible from cover to cover four times! On January 3, 2002, Betty Jean passed away. Norwood continued to travel on his own for a while, and later with family. He loved North Carolina and Florida, and was always ready to pack his bag and take a trip anywhere.

Norwood’s favorite Bible verse
Luke 1:37
Nothing is impossible with God.

No Events & Services

No Charities & Donations

No Gallery Photos

No Videos

7 responses to Norwood C. Horne

  1. 2 files added to the tribute wall

  2. Norwood was a true Southern gentleman and always a pleasure
    to visit with. He will truly be missed but we say goodbye knowing he
    enjoyed a full and rewarding life.
    Our love, Jim and Rhoda Stebick

  3. Louise Horne says:

    John Horne’s Eulogy – part 2 of 2

    I like to think it was through what I learned from my Dad that I kept us sane and focused through the long ordeal, but truth be told I think the traveling genes where passed on to my girls Katharine and Lillian, because they along with my wife, Jean are the best travel partners anyone could hope for.

    One last thought on the traveling. I remember how, at the end of a ﬔšight, when the plane was de-boarding at the final destination we would just stay seated and relaxed as everyone else fought their way out, looking for their suitcases stored in the overhead compartments, or just jostling for a position to get off the plane. And it strikes me now as almost Zen like how we stayed relaxed, calm and seated while everyone else slowly got off the plane, poking their neighbor with an umbrella, or suite case, worrying about this, that, or the other thing. Once the chaos passed away we would comfortably de-plane. Because really, we are all going to meet up again at the same baggage carousel and we will get there soon enough.

    Bon Voyage Dad

  4. Louise Horne says:

    Norwood Horne’s son, John, has given me permission to add the draft of his eulogy (submitted by daughter Lou):

    Dad’s Eulogy

    When I started jotting down notes for this eulogy I thought back on some of the characteristics I share with my Dad. The first thing to come to mind was a dislike for public speaking, but here I am anyhow. When I think back on my Dad while we were growing up, I think of a man constantly with a paint brush in his hand. I swear he painted the house on Tahiti Drive ten times while I lived there, all ten times a varying degree of beige.

    And if he didn’t have a paint brush in his hand in all likely hood he was getting ready to paint one of our Many, Many Volkswagens. Who needs Earl Scheib when you have a Dad with a commercial strength air compressor and spray paint equipment. As well as being a great mechanic he was also great at building things; from this elaborate storage loft in the garage with a trap door (perfect place for a kid to hide), a dog house with a hinged roof to facilitate cleaning and converting our VW Van into a camper with a sheet of plywood and a couple of 2x4s, He also liked helping me with my projects, like making a plexiglass skateboard. It would always break in two after a couple of jumps off the curbs, but that didn’t matter, the fun was in making it. But looking back there was another side that I think I missed at the time, but began to appreciate later in life. Sort of a nice counter balance to this shade-tree mechanic/carpenter.

    I remember his wine collection stored in a wine rack, that he built himself, of course. The love of gourmet food and an appreciation of art, I think mostly modern. Which kind of ties back into the elaborate storage loft I talked about earlier. This loft had vertical panels that helped keep all the miscellaneous stuff up there. And it seems to me every time he finished one of his many painting projects he would paint some kind of geometric shape on the side of if. Eventually, over the years creating quite a piece of modern art. He really was kinda of a Carolina Kandinsky.

    I think some of the best things I learned from Dad came with traveling though. Things like patience, simplicity and perseverance. As an employee of United Airlines we always traveled on standby, meaning we only get on the plane if there were available seats. So there were many times where we had to wait for two or three ﬔšights to go before we could get on board. Or, as happened a couple of times, after all the ﬔšights going to our destination had come and gone, we just got on a plane that was heading in the general direction of where we were going, kinda of working it out on the ﬔšy with connecting ﬔšights from where ever, just to get to the destination. And magically it always seemed to work out. We may have had to spend the night at the Baltimore airport nestled between our carry on baggage, but we got to where we were going. And forty years later I would see this played out again with my own family when, thanks to thunderstorms and maintenance issues, it took us over 24 hours to ﬔšy from the San Francisco bay area to Charleston South Carolina. I like to think it was

    (Part 1 of 2)

  5. Louise Horne says:

    (Eulogy – part 2 of 2 – from Lou Horne)

    When the war was over, Dad started flying where and when he could taking his first flying lessons at a small airfield close to Magnolia, then going to Oklahoma to go to a school that would get him into commercial aviation. Day classes weren’t available so he took night classes and polished the school’s fleet of retired Argentine Navy planes during the day. He did a bit of meandering as well, but by 1949 he got his mechanics certificate and went to Florida to train as a flight engineer this was back when planes had 3 men in the cockpit or 4 if a navigator was added for trips over the ocean. He was hired by united Air Lines in 1949 to serve as a flight engineer on their new DC6’s – one of the old prop planes flying out of New York City.

    He met my mother when he was deadheading on one of her flights and they married some months later.

    From that point, their lives became a series of trips, punctuated by a move to California in 1955, and by the arrival of three children. But mostly it was traveling – Dad the captain and mom, map or triptik in hand, the navigator. It was a pattern set as early as their honeymoon. They set out in a car from New York, heading to Boston, in wet and miserable weather, when Mom guardian of the map – admits that she didn’t do a very good job getting them in to Boston and they had their first argument. Travel was what Dad loved to do most and when his strength failed and he couldn’t do it any longer, he was ready in the words of the poem – to “slip the surly bonds of earth” and climb sunward.

    My Dad has given us many things. Taking us traveling and broadening our horizons is high on the list.

    But one of the most striking and I thought admirable- things about Dad was that he was always calm. I never saw him aggravated, I never saw him angry, and I don’t believe I ever heard him swear. I believe that 4 years at war gave him that calm unflappable demeanor that he kept throughout his life. There is a quote which, by strange coincidence has been applied both to war and to flying “hours of boredom punctuated by moments of extreme terror”.

    He has told us a little bit, very calmly, about those moments of terror at war confronting a German U-Boat in the middle of the night off of Cape Hatteras when most of the Roper’s guns misfired and they were just watching for the trail of a torpedo coming at them. And when the ship was hit by a kamikaze in the Pacific.

    He didn’t say much about the occasional excitement in his career as an airline pilot but I have been going through his pilot’s log books and the number of times the #3 engine (for some reason it was almost always the number 3 engine) cut out on his flights was alarming. There was one notation about “almost ran out of gas”, and there was very short flight when all of the engines failed on take-off.

    Knowing Dad, I have the absolute certainty that, at war or in the air, he remained a calm center during those moments of crisis. And I think that is an enviable quality. I’d like to close with a couple of verses from a little poem he kept among his papers. It’s about life as a sailor, cataloging all of the irksome chores, but it ends with:

    I’ve cruised a thousand miles
    And I’ve made a thousand ports:
    I’ve spent the night in duty jail
    For trying to be a sport.
    But when those final taps are sounded
    And I lay aside life’s cares
    I’ll take my final shore leave
    Right up those golden stairs.
    Tis then St. Peter will greet me
    And loudly he will yell,
    “Take your front seat in heaven, sailor,
    Because you’ve done your hitch in Hell.”

    1. Louise
      My dad grew up with your dad and as I got it, were best friends in Magnolia and on to NCSU. My dad went on to the war after a year as well. All I can tell you is that dad often talked of Norwood with a fondness that was obvious his love for him. I know they talked and kept up through the years. In going thru some of my dads things, I found a card for the Magnolia Townhouses with NC Horne Properties and decided to google to see where your dad was. Sorry to hear for your loss, but blessings for the time you had with him. I will just bet you that they are both together again in heaven having a good ole time as in the past.
      Blessings to all of your family
      Joe Sanderson

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle