on August 12, 2013 - 8:32 PM
April 2, 1921 – Aug. 8, 2013
Norman F. Horn of West Seneca, a decorated veteran of World War II who helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp and served as an interpreter to captured German troops before proceeding on to a long career as a union plumber in the area, died Thursday at his Reserve Road home. He was 92.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Horn moved to West Seneca at a young age and was educated at Trinity Lutheran School before earning his high school diploma from South Park.
Mr. Horn was drafted and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. As a member of the 45th Infantry Division, Mr. Horn was a forward observer who served in campaigns throughout Italy, France and Germany.
His unit liberated 32,000 captives of the Dachau concentration camp April 29, 1945. Two days later, his division was sent to Munich to occupy the city until V-E Day. Because of his German heritage and ability to speak and understand German, Mr. Horn served as an interpreter with captured German troops.
He earned the Bronze Star, the Bronze Arrowhead, the European, African and Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and a silver and bronze service star for his service.
Following the war, Mr. Horn returned to Western New York and married his childhood neighbor, Mary Heinrich. The couple remained in West Seneca and raised five daughters, M. Kathleen Stephan, Karen Hollowood, Krista Rossi, Kimberley Janek and Karla Buelow.
Mr. Horn, who obtained his journeyman’s plumber’s license, was employed locally for large commercial plumbing companies, including Weinheimer, Quackenbush and Rudy Slaczyk. He worked as a member of the Plumber and Steamfitters Local Union No. 22 for 32 years until his retirement in 1986. Mr. Horn’s self-professed “favorite plumbing job” was working on the “Marine Midland skyscraper,” known now as HSBC tower.
A lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Mr. Horn taught kindergarten Sunday school for many years and continued volunteering at Trinity by cutting grass and folding weekly bulletins.
He was fond of bowling, woodworking, yard work and gardening.
Mr. Horn’s wife of 55 years predeceased him in 2002. He is survived by his daughters, as well as nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday from Trinity Lutheran Church, 146 Reserve Road, West Seneca. Interment will follow at Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery, 146 Reserve Road, West Seneca.