Eileen V. Horn, 88

Nov. 2, 1929 - March 15, 2018
Eileen V. Horn,  Nov. 2, 1929 - March 15, 2018

Eileen V. Horn, 88, died in her sleep at her house in Sag Harbor on March 15. She had been in declining health for some time. Known to her friends and family as Ei, Mrs. Horn had made Sag Harbor her home ever since she got married in 1950, and before that had spent summers as a child in the village.

She was born in Queens on Nov. 2, 1929, to Robert Patrick Muldowney, who was from Rhode Island, and Mary Kathleen Muldowney, a native of County Sligo, Ireland. She grew up with her seven sisters and two brothers in the Queens neighborhood of Springfield Gardens, and graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 1947. As a teenager, she worked at a Horn and Hardart Automat restaurant in New York City. After graduating from high school, she took a job clerking for the Equitable Life Insurance Company. 

Her parents had discovered Sag Harbor when her father answered an advertisement in a newspaper offering houses in the village for sale. They bought a place on Rector Street, where the family would spend their weekends and holidays. The summer after she graduated from high school, Eileen met a Sag Harbor native, Thomas W. Horn Sr. The two fell in love, and were married on April 9, 1950. 

Their son, Robert Horn, who now makes his home in Rocky Point, said yesterday that as soon as she got married, his mother wanted to raise her family in Sag Harbor. She was attracted to the peacefulness of the village. 

The couple lived in the Rector Street house for a time, before building their own home on Meadowlark Lane. 

She took a job with the New York Telephone Company in Southampton as an operator, patching calls on a switchboard. The technology she was dealing with was not the only thing different from today’s world. Every time she had a child, her son said (and she had six), she was forced by the phone company to resign, and then reapply when she was ready to return to work. While she was credited with 19 years on the job, in reality, those 19 years were spread over 25, many of them working night shifts. She was a union delegate. 

She was politically engaged, and not afraid to speak her mind. When the couple had a son, Charles Frederick Horn, who was born with a heart defect, the school tried to prevent him from being enrolled. Mrs. Horn involved the American Civil Liberties Union, and the school backed down. Charles died at the age of 6. 

When she retired, she would frequently lunch with the New York Telephone Pioneers, who would meet in Riverhead. She and Mr. Horn enjoyed vacationing occasionally in Hawaii. She maintained a friendship from childhood with Josephine Rosenthal, who would sometimes accompany them to the islands.

She loved playing cards, particularly the game of canasta. She also was an enthusiastic reader of newspapers. Thursday was her favorite day. Not only would she go through three or four daily papers, but Thursday was the day The East Hampton Star came out, adding to her stack of ready reading. When she was done reading the papers, she would turn to the crossword puzzles. She was also fascinated by the actors and actresses of Hollywood. 

The most important thing to her, however, was her family.

She is survived by her husband, who lives in Sag Harbor, as do a daughter, Kathleen Horn, and a son, Thomas Horn Jr. Other children surviving, in addition to Robert Horn, are Alanna Marie Messiana of Southold and Michael Horn of Riverhead. Seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild survive her, as do two sisters, Marguerite Peggy Olsen of Merrick and Ann Muldowney of Mastic. A grandson died before Mrs. Horn.

Funeral services were held at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church on March 20, and Mrs. Horn was buried at St. Andrew’s Cemetery in Sag Harbor.

The family has suggested that donations in Mrs. Horn’s memory be made to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 16 Columbia Street, P.O. Box 2725, Sag Harbor 11963.