Obituary: John Day Horrall

John Day Horrall
John Day Horrall

John Day Horrall, longtime California resident, passed away on Jan. 5 in Laguna Hills. He had moved there from Corona del Mar after the September death of Barbara, his beloved wife of 71 years. They had previously lived in La Cañada Flintridge for 60 years.
John was born in 1922 in Spokane, Washington, to Albion and Mary Irene Horrall. In the late 1920s, the family moved to San Jose. John graduated from San Jose High School before attending Stanford University (class of 1943). He was a journalism major, member of SAE and editor of the Stanford Daily newspaper.
During World War II, he served with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division ski troops (1943-45) in Italy. He returned to California to join the staff of the San Rafael Independent newspaper, where he met his future wife, Barbara Brown. After their wedding in 1947, they lived in Marin County and had two daughters, Kathleen and Mary.
John then worked in San Francisco as managing editor of the Call-Bulletin newspaper. The family moved in 1955 to Southern California, where John held several corporate public relations positions before starting his own public relations firm in 1966.
John and Barbara loved to travel — often with friends and family to Maui, where they had a vacation condo. They were also avid book and art collectors. John also took a keen interest in all sports and encouraged his daughters’ participation in sports. He played tennis for decades and enjoyed playing golf during his retirement. John had a remarkable memory for sports facts — especially regarding Stanford football.
John’s wonderful storytelling, sense of humor, perpetual upbeat outlook on life and love for family will be dearly missed. He is survived by his daughters, Kathleen Danaher (Brian) and Mary Miller; four grandchildren: Kevin Danaher (Erin), Sean Danaher, Kristin Gates (Jason) and Taylor Miller (Nicole); and four great-grandchildren: Grayson and Westley Danaher and Brady and Hailey Gates.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Stanford Fund/Stanford University, Development Services, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309. Please state that your donation is in memory of John Horrall, class of 1943.
O’Connor Mortuary (949) 581-4300,

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