Howard Horner '40 and Grace (Boyles) Horner '41

Howard Horner '40 & Grace (Boyles) Horner '41 make up just one of Pacific University's nearly 950 alumni couples.

As a sophomore at Pacific in 1937, I signed up for Vocal Music under E.B. Harris was new to Pacific, but had great ideas for an Acapella Choir, which could be taken to vocal music credit. About sixty students signed up. One of the sopranos was a real beauty, a freshman named Grace Boyles, who live in Forest Grove. I walked her home after a concert on campus, kissed her goodnight, and was really enraptured! We “went together” from that time on.

During the summer months, I lived on a farm seven miles up in the hills from Estacada. I had no car, so I would hitch-hike from Estacada to Forest Grove on a weekend to see her during the summer. We have a wonderful romance during my sophomore, junior, and senior years at Pacific!

In 1940, I started teaching at Dalles High School during Grace’s senior year at Pacific. We had many letters back and forth, as we as an occasional visit to see each other. Grace graduated with a BA at Pacific in the spring of 1941, but I had been drafted at the end of my first year of teaching, and was sent to Camp Roberts, California, assigned to the 56th Battalion in Files Artillery.

We had planned to be married in December, 1941 but those plans went up in smoke on December 7, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. All military leaves and furloughs were canceled.

Instead of a wedding in Forest Grove, Grace came down to Camp Roberts, where we were married by an Army Chaplin. Attending our wedding were two individuals – a marvelous tenor from San Francisco Opera, who sang “Because,” and an Army Private, Conney Anderson, a soldier at Camp Roberts, who had been a member of our football team at Pacific.

We found a place to live in Paso Robles, about eight miles from Camp Roberts. Our first son Jim was born in Paso Robles in 1942.

Late, when I applied for a commission in Ordnance, Grace and I were separated again. Grace and Jim went back to Portland, and I went to Maryland for four months of training to become a Commissioned Officer.

After being commissioned, I was assigned to train troops at the Atlanta Ordnance Depot, Grace and Jim made the long trip by train from Portland to Atlanta, and the three of us were together in Georgia, until I was discharged from the Army in 1948.

We return to Estacada, Grace as a homemaker and a substitute teacher, and I as a High School teacher. My professional career has been extensive in Education, but our lives have been blessed by the greatest love and respect for each other humanly possible.

We have had three sons who are excellent students, and are now successful in the professions. Jim is a retired electrical engineer and VP of Hewlett Packard. Robert is a Doctor of Education at the University of Oregon. Greg is the Chief Assistant District Attorney in Clackamas County. All are married, have wonderful families. We have seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

On February 11, 2007, Grace and I will have had sixty-five years of wonderful married life together, all of which can be traced back to our participation in music at Pacific University.

In 2012 Howard and Grace were featured in The Oregonian on the occasion of their 70th wedding anniversary.

Posted by Martha Calus-Mclain ( on Jan 31, 2011 at 3:58 PM

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