CHARLESTON, IL – Jeffrey A. Horn, age 63 and life-long Charleston resident, passed away on Sunday, September 12, 2021, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. His many friends and acquaintances are invited to gather from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Charleston Country Club – 8355 Country Club Road on Saturday, September 25, 2021, to honor his life. A Service of Remembrance led by Steve Biggs will begin at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his honor may be made to IHSRA (Illinois High School Rodeo Association) for the establishment of a scholarship fund or to a charity of the donor’s preference. Gifts may be mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Jeff was born in Charleston on December 12, 1957, a son of Everett and Peggy (Smith) Horn. He attended Charleston schools and was a 1976 graduate of Charleston High School. He married the love of his life, Jody Elliott on October 5, 1978, who has been his best friend and partner in life for nearly 43 years. In addition to Jody, Jeff leaves two children, son, Cordell “Cordy” Horn of Williams, Arizona and daughter, Delaney Horn of Charleston; two nephews, Tyler Horn and Andy Horn; and a niece, Corey Martin and her husband Scott. In addition to his parents, Jeff was preceded in death by his brother, Steve Horn; and his stepfather, Howard Deeter.
Jeff was a self-employed farmer and owner-operator of Horn Farms. His family were the first to introduce Brahman cattle to this area and Jeff was named the 2004 Outstanding Conservation Farmer of the Year by Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District. Jeff pursued a variety of other interests and was actively involved in various capacities. He served on the board of Charleston Cemeteries, Inc. and was a member of the Charleston Moose Lodge #1388. Jeff’s desire to always be of help to others was evident through his service as a member of the Charleston Area Charitable Foundation.
Cars and racing have been a big part of Jeff’s life and an interest he shared with son Cordy. Jeff began racing modified midgets at age 16 and was instrumental in promoting midget car racing at the local level. He served as Vice-President of the local Coles County Modified Midget Racing Association and was inducted into the National Modified Midget Association (NMMA) Hall of Fame in 2006. Jeff was proud to serve as Cordy’s Crew Chief when he began his racing career and in 2013 Cord was the proud winner of the Mel Kenyon Midget Series at the Coles County Speedway in Charleston. Jeff served as flagman at the Coles County Speedway and was an official for the United States Auto Club. His love for race cars also prompted him to restore a Silver Crown Series Race Car once owned by Indy driver, A.J. Foyt which was on display at the Arizona Open Wheel Racing Museum and the Knoxville Sprint Car Hall of Fame. He also secured a spot for his father’s Micro Midget at the Knoxville Museum. He was the only Micro ever to be put on display there. He was thrilled to be an ambassador for First Financial Bank, along with this dear friend Bill Kauffman, at the Indy 500 Suite during the month of May.
Jeff’s interests shifted when daughter, Delaney began showing goats and participating in western horse shows and rodeos. He was always a big help in preparing for and traveling to fairs, horse shows and rodeos nationwide. He became a huge supporter of the National High School Rodeo Association and National Little Britches Rodeo Association and both he and Delaney became friends with people from all over the United States.
Family was everything to him and they were always his priority, but Jeff was truly interested in others as well. He not only looked out for the well-being of others but sought out opportunities in which to help. He was easy to talk with, usually offered a little humor for the conversation, and never knew a stranger. He was always the gentleman, and his goodness was apparent in all that he did. He will forever be missed!
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