With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Eileen Van Horn aged 99 on November 12, 2023. A luminary in her time Eileen passed away in Charleston, South Carolina where she had energetically spent the past 25 years.
Born in Ames, Iowa, Eileen’s journey was one characterized by excellence, resilience, and reverent passions. She graduated from Iowa State University in 1945 where she was not only the proud recipient of numerous scholastic awards but also held the esteemed positions of president of Mortar Board and editor of the university yearbook.
A woman of many talents, Eileen possessed an unquenchable passion for golf. Her prowess on the golf course was remarkable. During her high school years in 1940, she boldly took a position on the boy’s golf team setting a precedent. Over the years, her dedication bore fruit, leading her to secure 19 titles as the Des Moines city champion and proudly holding numerous Iowa state individual women’s championships. Equally remarkable was her passion for music. After playing recitals at ISU for 7 years, she played a soulful rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue” touring with the State of Iowa Orchestra.
In retirement, when not on the golf course or at the piano, Eileen and her husband, Robert, curiosity led them to travel to as as many fascinating places as they could find whether in the United States or overseas. Eileen’s enduring legacy is not just her numerous accolades but the love she held for her family and her indomitable spirit. She is predeceased by her husband, Robert Van Horn (2005), with whom they created several successful plastics enterprises in Des Moines beginning in 1950 through
She leaves behind a tapestry of memories for her daughters: Carol Van Horn and daughter-in-law Carol Stewart of Des Moines, and Barbara Svanoe and son-in-law Phllip Svanoe of Carefree, Arizona.
In remembrance of Eileen’s remarkable life, in lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests contributions be made to Habitat for Humanity, to which both Eileen and Robert were both enthusiastic volunteers.