Harrison Martin Horney, Jr., “June”, 94, passed away Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. June was the son of Harrison Martin Horney, Sr., and Ethel Smith Horney who preceded him in death.
Born in Banner Elk, N.C., on May 30, 1926. He was the youngest of nine children and was preceded in death by all of his siblings, Roscoe, Richard, Ralph, Don, Arthur, George, Tom, and Mildred. Also preceding him in death was his only son, Harrison Martin Harry Horney, and two great-granddaughters, Ansley Claire and Claire Elizabeth Horney.
He was a graduate of Cranberry High School where he played football and basketball. June worked on the Savannah River project in Aiken, S.C. He was a commercial truck driver for six years before finding his true calling as a farmer in Crossnore, N.C. His dad bought the farm in 1936 of which June took ownership of in 1945. He was first a produce farmer growing cabbage, beans and potatoes.
Several years later he tried his hand cattle farming. He raised prize-winning Black Angus cattle. During the cold winter months, he made snow at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. In the early 70s, he began transitioning from raising cattle to Christmas tree farming. He found his greatest success in growing Fraser Fir Christmas trees on the Horney Farm where his legacy continues through his three grandsons and great-grandchildren today.
June served as the president of the Avery County Farm Bureau for 16 consecutive years. He was the recipient of the Avery County Farm City Farm Family of the Year in 2013. June made a lasting impression on many young men who worked for him on the farm. He mentored many of them in their own careers. He helped raise many of these workers including his brother-in-laws, Ben and George Ware.
June lived a fun and fulfilling life. He enjoyed fishing with his buddies in the Surfside Pier Float Fishing Association and playing golf at Racoon Run while at their home in Surfside Beach. When at home in the mountains, he loved playing golf at Mtn. Glen. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, Ellen Dora, and Hazel and Bernice Carpenter. They traveled all over the US enjoying the many sights. When not traveling the US, June attended church at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church where he was a member. June had many vegetable gardens all over the farm where he grew plenty of crops to enjoy during the summer and then to can for later months. He had a green thumb with flowers also that beautified their home on the Horney Farm.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 75 years, Ellen Dora Ware Horney, his three grandsons, Harrison Martin Horney, IV and Leslie of Crossnore, N.C., James Matthew Horney and Amy of Cranberry, N.C., and Mitchell Robert Horney and Becca of Spruce Pine, N.C.; seven great-grandchildren, Harrison Martin Horney V, Chandler Horney, Ethan Horney, Elli Horney, Maddie Horney, Ayla Horney and Mattux Horney. June had many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
A private family graveside service was held on Thursday, December 3 at Johnson Cemetery on Mount Pleasant Road. A memorial service will follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge at hospiceblueridge.com or by mail to 236 Hospital Dr., Spruce Pine, NC 28777.