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Dr. Robert J. Horne

May 20, 1927 - October 30, 2023


Obituary For Dr. Robert J. Horne

We are greatly saddened to announce that our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, father-in-law, and loving companion, Robert John Horne, died peacefully in his sleep on October 30, 2023 at the age of 96 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Bob was a devoted Steelers fan, a Pittsburgher through and through, and everyone who knew him treasured his kindness, his fun-loving wit, and his calm manner. For nearly 50 years, he was a much-appreciated family dentist in Edgewood, Pa., where he served his patients with skill, gentleness, humor, and a personal touch that made him a favorite of young and old alike. If the Pirates were playing, Bob would often listen to the game quietly on the radio while working in his operatory. A sign of times gone-by, he had an in-house dental laboratory, took Wednesdays off, and kept a soft black leather satchel of dental implements at home to take with him on house calls. He served as a school dentist at Edgewood High School and at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind, and upon retirement he and a former army buddy packed up basic dental tools and equipment and went on two Catholic missionary trips to Brazil where they provided dental services to those in need. He sometimes sheepishly brought home quirky artwork or garden produce as payment in kind for his dental work. He viewed his work as a form of service to others. That’s the kind of dentist he was.
The son of Catherine Cox Horne and John Stephen Horne, Bob was born on May 20, 1927 in Garfield on Pittsburgh’s East End. A life-long Catholic, Bob and his family were active members of the St. Lawrence O’Toole parish, where he was an altar boy. At age 17, during the spring of his senior year at Central Catholic High School, Bob voluntarily enlisted in the Navy and served from 1945-1946, including five months of sea duty on the USS Neville and the USS Luzon. After the war, he attended the University of Pittsburgh on a Senatorial scholarship from Joe Barr (an 11-term Pennsylvania senator who later served as mayor of Pittsburgh from 1959-1970). He had to send Senator Barr his grades every year in order to have the scholarship renewed. During college, Bob joined the ROTC. He opted to defer his GI Bill benefits so he could use them to attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry. Upon graduation from dental school in 1953, he entered the US Army as a first lieutenant and, at the conclusion of the Korean War, worked as an Army dentist at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he met his future wife, Marilyn Magenheimer, an eye-catching employee at the Red Cross with whom he would have five children from 1956 to 1963. He loved being a father, playing “the shrinking man” when he got home from work (an act involving him shrinking gradually with each step into his trench coat, eliciting squeals of delight from his children), and coaching little league baseball, the memories of which still brought him joy many years later. He was a kind, loving father who enjoyed life, knew many of our secrets, was the king of “bad dad” jokes, and offered practical wisdom to each of his children throughout our lives. In May 2020, at a virtual celebration (necessitated by Covid) of his 93rd birthday, he remarked that his life had indeed been “a great story.”
His faith was his foundation. Being Catholic was central to Bob’s identity and to his understanding of our purpose on earth. He communicated that faith to his children. When he last attended mass, merely two months ago, he intoned the prayers and responses in a confident and loud voice. Now that he has left this earthly dwelling, he sits in the glory and comfort of God’s eternal kingdom. May God’s perpetual light shine upon him.
Bob is preceded in death by his siblings Harry Horne, Margie Horne Pringle, Charles D. Horne and his cherished daughter, Lori Horne Guelff. He is survived by his children Janet Horne of Charlottesville, Va; James Horan of Stuart, Fl.; Rob Horne of Sebring, Fl.; Chad Horne of Pittsburgh, Pa.; eight grandchildren; one great-grandson; and his best friend and loving companion, Betty Resnik of Pittsburgh, Pa., who brought him love, joy and comfort, and was by his side in sickness and health until the very end.

Friends will be received at the John F. Slater Funeral Home, Inc., 412-881-4100, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood 15227, Friday, November 3, 2023, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm where a blessing service will be held at 1:00 pm. Military Honors will be held at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies immediately following the blessing service. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to “Lori’s Light,” a dental hygiene scholarship fund in support of students at Southern Florida State College in Highlands County, Florida. This fund was set up in memory of Bob’s daughter, Loris Horne Guelff, a former dental hygienist (B.S., University of Pittsburgh) and an active community resident in Highlands County. Last year, the fund raised over $100,000 in Lori’s name. Checks should be made out to “Lori’s Light” and sent to: Dr. Steve Guelff, 205 Sea Biscuit Lane, Lake Placid, Florida, 23852.

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  • 11/04/2023

    Dr. Horne was the first dentist I saw as a child. He used " sweet air " to help children be comfortable during visits. He pulled my top baby teeth before they were real loose . This allowed my permanent teeth to come in straight. I never needed to have braces to straighten my teeth. Because of him I never feared going to the dentist. He had a great relationship with my dad(Don Wolfe and my uncle ( Harry Pehl) . They both had extensive work and had no complaints. Dr Horne even took a few pictures of my uncle and his teeth. My sisters were also patients as was my aunt (Dorie Pehl. I saw Dr Horne a few years ago at the Giant Eagle Pharmacy in Caste Village. He came up to me and said aren't you from Swissvale. I knew who he was immediately. He had a distinctive voice that I think I recognized one day prior to the day I saw him . I actually stayed with the practice until about a year and a half ago when they no longer accepted my insurance. God bless him and all of his family. Barbara J Wolfe

  • 11/03/2023

    Bob was a wonderful man who always brightened my day when I saw him at work. He will be greatly missed. Much love to Miss Betty and Bobs whole family.

  • 11/03/2023

    I'm sorry to hear of this, I was lucky to have visited my uncle. He asked if I would bring my mom to visit him and that was a great day about 10 years ago. My sincere condolences, David Horne Fairhaven, MA