Cecil W. Horan, age 78 of Big Rapids, passed away Tuesday, July 3, 2012, following a lengthy illness, at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. He was born July 21, 1933 in Big Rapids, the son of Nelson and Carolyn (Gilchrist) Horan.
Cecil graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1951. He worked the next few years before enlisting into the United States Army. Cecil was an engineer for the U. S. Army. His military career took him to several exotic places including Korea, Vietnam, Iran and Germany. He retired from the Army in 1980 and took a position as a technical advisor to the National Guard in Saudi Arabia.
Cecil also worked for the Hughes Aircraft Company as a support System Engineer. With his well known, good sense of humor, Cecil had often referred to himself as an “International Bum”. He eventually returned to his home town of Big Rapids, but not until he had married his beloved Nancy Vliet on August 8, 1985.
Cecil was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Big Rapids where he enjoyed singing in the choir. He was also a member and past president of Eagles Aerie #4360 of Stanwood and a member of Disabled American Veterans Chapter #18 of Big Rapids.
Cecil enjoyed music, fishing, hunting, traveling and he loved his many cats over the years.
He is survived by his wife Nancy Ann Horan of Big Rapids; three sons, Tim (Deb) Horan of Bath, John (Karen) Horan of Fredericksburg, VA, Mark (Val) Horan of Springfield, VA; two daughters, Kelly Horan of Lansing, Audrey (Paul Kloepfer) Horan of Reston, VA; three grandchildren, Nathan (Criss) Horan of Lansing, Jordan Horan in the State of Wyoming, Haley (Evan) Dontje of Lansing; two great-grandsons, Zander and Drake Horan; a step-granddaughter, Samantha Cookson of Springfield, VA; a brother, Vail Horan of Lansing; an aunt, Plyna Strong of Grand Rapids; a step-son, Mike (Laura) Bishop of Big Rapids and their children Ryan Bishop of Richmond, VA, Krysten Bishop of Harrisburg, VA; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Cecil was preceded by his parents, a brother Carl Horan and a stepson Martin Bishop.
A memorial service will take place 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 21, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church in Big Rapids with Reverend Rebecca Morrison officiating. The family will greet friends one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be at Pine Plains Cemetery in Big Rapids with Chaplin David Waldron officiating and military honors under the auspices of DAV Chapter #18 of Big Rapids and the United States Army. Memorial contributions in Cecil’s name may be made to the Grand Rapids Home for the Veterans Unit 1 Red or the DAV Chapter #18 of Big Rapids.