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Earl C. Horan, Jr.

Company M-2

23 Feb 1936 - 7 Mar 2015

Place of Death: Fayetteville, NC

Interment: Lafayette Memorial Park, Fayetteville, NC

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Earl Horan, on March 7, 2015, in Fayetteville, NC. 

Earl is survived by wife, Elizabeth; daughter, Eleanor Rivera; son, Earl Horan III; and grandchildren, Troy Horan, Earl Horan IV, Chandler Rivera, and Michael Rivera. 

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home, 500 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301.  A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 1000 Andrews Road, Fayetteville, NC 28311.  Interment with full military honors will follow at Lafayette Memorial Park, 2301 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC  28301. 

Condolences may be sent to Elizabeth at 6229 Falkland Court, Fayetteville, NC  28311. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Earl’s memory be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS  66675.

Well done, Earl.  Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\M-2 Earl Horan.pdf


Ret. Lt. Col. Earl Campbell Horan Jr.,  79, of Fayetteville, passed away on Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015.

Earl graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point then proudly served in the US Army, retiring in 1989 after serving for 30 years.  He served two tours in Vietnam, worked at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, and Commanded over the peace keeping force in Grenada after the invasion. He was also a Special Forces Ranger, and earned a silver star, two bronze stars, and various other medals, awards and accommodations. He also served as a special advisor for the movie, "The Green Beret."

Mr. Horan was also a highly skilled and accomplished musician. He was a member of the Blue Grass Band, The Foggy Mountain Boys.  Earl also made an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950's with the West Point Glee Club.

Earl  is survived by his wife Elizabeth Belford Horan of the home; one daughter, Eleanor Horan Rivera of Snow Hill, NC; one son Earl Campbell Horan III of Fayetteville, NC; one sister, Margaret Ellen Webb of Marion, Alabama; and four grandsons, Troy Horan and wife Stephanie, Earl IV, Chandler, and Michael, all of Fayetteville.

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests memorials to be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.

A funeral service  will be held at 11 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at in  St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Catholic Church, with Father Jack Kelly officiating.  Interment with full military honors will follow at Lafayette Memorial Park.  The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home.  

Taps Memorial Article:

Earl C. Horan Jr. 1961

Cullum No. 23794-1961 | March 7, 2015 | Died in Fayetteville, NC
Interred in Lafayette Memorial Park and Mausoleum, NC

Earl Campbell Horan Jr. was born into the military family of Colonel Earl and Margaret Horan. His formative years were spent in Alabama, where his father was Professor of Military Science and Com- mandant of Marion Military Institute. Earl was so eager to join the Army that at 17 he joined the Alabama National Guard as a truck driver. Earl completed two years of college at Marion Institute before fulfilling his dream of attending West Point. Earl was a gifted athlete in high school and was sought after by many of the Southeastern colleges. His love of sports continued through his cadet days to his officer days, during which he was outstanding in the field events of Europe’s track and field competitions. In his 40s, Earl began running marathons, which was a testimony to his athletic skills and perseverance.

Earl arrived at West Point tall, talented, laid back and full of humor. He truly was one of a kind and treated plebe year as an adventure not to be missed. His levity in Beast Barracks brought all of us new cadets comic relief, which unfortunately was coupled with many pushups, although Earl was seldom caught. When Earl would march us as plebes from North Area through South Area enroute to the academic buildings, he had the ability to bring the upperclassmen located in South Area to the point of a frenzy. His antics throughout the four years endeared him to his classmates but were not always well received by the Tactical Department. Consequently, early on Earl became a member of the Century Club. There was a Don Quixote quality to Earl because he never failed to see windmills that needed to be tilted, yet never at the expense of others. He was an excellent athlete, a good student (at least when the chips were down), and he had a few experiences with the Academic Department. Earl possessed one annoying trait, at least to his roommates: He always attracted the best looking girls. He was a talented musician with the guitar and enjoyed four years with the Glee Club, appearing on the Ed Sullivan show among other highlights. Music was very important to Earl, and he played and sang whenever possible, and his room in the barracks was never dull.

Upon graduation, Earl joined the Infantry. After completion of the Infantry basic course and Ranger and Airborne schools, Earl was enroute to his first assignment in Berlin, Germany, only to be met on the drop zone after his final jump by the lovely Leiser from the University of Alabama, whom he had been dating for a couple of years. Leiser led him in his airborne fatigues to the Justice of the Peace in Cusseta, GA, where they were married. Thus began a wonderful love story, only to be interrupted after Earl’s retirement by the untimely death of Leiser.

At his first assignment in Berlin he worked at both Check Point Charlie and Spandau Prison. After Berlin, Earl’s career followed the usual pattern of young Infantry officers in the 1960s and 1970s: Berlin; Fort Bragg, NC; Vietnam; Fort Benning, GA; Vietnam; ROTC; then Fort Campbell, KY; followed by Fort Leavenworth, KS; Japan, Leavenworth, Bragg, and Grenada. It was during his first assignment at Fort Bragg that Earl became Special Forces qualified and experienced his first combat tour in Vietnam with the 5th Special Forces. Earl returned from Vietnam to Fort Benning in 1966. While there he became very involved with the cast and crew making the film The Green Beret. The director was so taken with Earl that he named the fictious SF camp in the movie after Earl’s camp in Vietnam. Earl taught John Wayne how to be a Green Beret. Not a bad accomplishment by a young captain. Throughout his career, and especially in combat, Earl displayed calm leadership and coolness under fire, which earned him numerous awards for valor, including the Silver Star.

In addition to his combat tours with Special Forces and the Phoenix Program, Earl served as a company commander at the Infantry Center at Fort Benning. He was the assistant PMS at Murray State in Kentucky. Later, he was the S-3 of the 3d Battalion, 187th PIR, 101st Airborne Division. After attendance at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Earl was assigned to IX Corps at Camp Zama, Japan. He returned to Fort Leavenworth on the faculty of CGSC. His next assignment was to XVIII Airborne Corps, where he was assigned as the deputy G-5. While with XVIII Airborne Corps, Earl participated in Operation Urgent Fury. Earl commanded the stay-behind force that helped the governor to stabilize Grenada. His actions in that capacity were so widely applauded that Earl became one of the Army’s foremost authorities on civic action, especially in a special warfare environment.

Earl’s final assignments were with the Special Warfare Center School, culminating as the deputy assistant commandant. It was in this last position that Earl was instrumental in establishing Special Forces as an independent branch within the Army.

After retirement from active duty, Earl and family remained in the Fayetteville, NC area. There Earl became active in real estate, his church, AUSA, Kiwanis and numerous civic and charitable organizations. He continued his love of music by playing the mandolin in the bluegrass band Foggy Mountain Boys.

Earl was more than just a great soldier and a multitalented individual. He was a loving husband and father whose accomplishments and zest for life where often overshadowed by his humility and understated approach. He was a remarkable and memorable individual who enriched the lives of all with whom he had contact. One can’t help but smile when they hear Earl’s name.

— Family and roommate