The Curry Coastal Pilot

Norma Lillian "Granni" Van Horn, 99, Brookings, passed to be with the Lord on Feb. 17, 2012.

She was born June 11, 1912, in Swissvale, Penn., to Charles Edward Jenkins and Anna Mae Harris. She was the youngest of five children. Her mother was a seamstress and local neighborhood chef; her father was a conductor for the railroad.

Granni graduated from high school and later married and had a son. She saw an ad that requested work for the War Department and left for Washington, D.C. She excelled at her job and received many accolades throughout her federal career. After retiring in the 1970s, she came to Brookings to help care for an ailing brother who lived on the Winchuck River.

Granni was in love with the area. She would recount the early days of living in Harbor. While here, she was given a small lot on the Winchuck next door to her two brothers, as a gesture of appreciation for caring for her brother Russell.

Granni quickly got to work on a small cabin home. While here, she enjoyed being a member of many community groups and clubs; her favorites were the Hikearoos, being secretary to both the local debate club and local chapter of Northwest Steelheaders.

She also loved to write poems and letters to the editor for the Curry Coastal Pilot and many other magazines and papers.

Her greatest joy of all was her church and faith in the Lord, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. When her grandson Todd asked her "Why SDA?" her favorite response was. "Well, I was born with four brothers and sisters and they all left me. Now I came here and I have more brothers and sisters than I can count!"

She was a member of the Brookings SDA for as long as anyone can remember and enjoyed the many potlucks and community groups.

Granni returned to Virginia when she turned 90 to visit with her son, his wife and many grandchildren. While in Virginia, she said, "I can't wait to get back to Harbor." She did, at 92 years of age, joined by her grandson Todd when she was 96 years old.

Granni loved her garden and her little home. When she was 98 and at the grocery store with Todd, still pushing her own cart, a favorite clerk of hers, Diana, said, "Norma, what do you attribute your health and age to? She said very sharply, "I am an SOM!" Then she paused and said, "Stubborn Old Mule!" She loved to make people laugh.

"I will truly miss her for her wise lessons and devotion to the Lord," said Todd.

Survivors include her son Charles and his wife Joy; her grandson Lane Todd, Harbor; and other grandchildren Chuck III, Christina, Donald, James, Julio, Maria, Paul and Michelle.

A special memorial event will be held at the Brookings SDA at a later time. She will be buried in Holt, Penn., with her family.

Submitted by

Todd Van Horn.