“Van” Van Horn passed away June 28 after a long struggle with cancer. He was born May 27, 1953, to James and Constance Van Horn in Ithaca, N.Y., where James was a graduate student at Cornell University. The family relocated to Port Angeles, Wash., in 1957.
During his youth, Van played competitive badminton, attending several Junior National Championships and winning a number of state and regional competitions. He was active in Senior Luther League at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church prior to graduating from Port Angeles High School in 1970.
A National Merit Scholar finalist, Van chose instead to launch the first of several businesses, Polaris Screen Printing, in Seattle in 1971. As a screen printer, Van was known for his creative problem solving, his encyclopedic knowledge of the craft, and his ability to inspire and lead his team.
They printed everything from T-shirts and bumper stickers to ice cream bars to overlays for medical equipment, including the 1976 Bumbershoot poster, with artwork by renowned artist Jacob Lawrence. In the early 1990s, his business life became technology-based as he researched and taught himself all he could about computers, websites, digital communications and networking.
As an adult, Van was active in politics, though never sought public office. He was also active in a number of churches, including the occasional preaching effort, most recently at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland.
His hobbies included photography, reading, singing (in and out of the shower), and all aspects of technology. His “Quote of the Day” website provided thousands of readers with a daily dose of history and appropriate quotes, until his illness intervened.
This warm, brilliant, stubborn, generous, funny man will be missed by his family and many friends. He is survived by his wife of 32 years Larkin Jean Van Horn; daughter Amelia Neighbors of Redmond, Wash.; grandson Muhammad BinAbdullah of Redmond, Wash.; mother Constance Duppenthaler of Port Angeles; sister Sharon Reuter of Seattle; brother Creighton Van Horn of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and three nieces.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 15 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Cancer Society, Providence Hospice of Seattle or the Whidbey Island chapter of Habitat for Humanity.