John Horlivy Remembered

Anne Green   11.15.10

As sister and caregiver of John during his last six years while in California, I must express deep gratitude and thanks to all former students and colleagues of John’s for taking out the time to express your thoughtful and heartfelt comments. Your postings have had such a healing effect on our family; they’ve helped me personally to put things in perspective: I experienced John as a retiree from teaching; this was such a short time in his life. It’s all so clear that John had a long, extraordinary teaching stint for 40 years! As his health permitted, the better part of John’s California time was spent deeply entrenched in rhetoric: analyzing the media, political talk in particular, lots of reading, some writing, and almost full-time research dedicated to his word blog. When he was not doing that, he was engaged with creating art by exploring various media. I’m sorry I missed the “student” era, but am delighted and feel blessed to have enjoyed his company these past six years. I was privileged to get to know my brother John while we were in our adult years. 

With deepest gratitude to you all who made John’s life so special, 

Anne (Horlivy) Green 

Caroline Barrow   11.14.10

I was blessed to be a student, not just once, but twice, of Mr. Horlivy's. He was my Sophomore and Junior high school English Man of Revelations. His word a day, for which we were to scribe a sentence, was always a challenge for me as I would attempt longer and longer "single sentence prose"; all the while endeavoring to make it grammatically complete. Still recall the day I reached 44 words and his red pen joyfully wrote "perfect". I thank him for my love of writing. 

His humor, dramatics and excitement for teaching was always infectious, even on the most exhausting of days. Thanks for being one of the very best, Mr. Horlivy, you will be missed.

USM '95

I thought of a second, more humorous, story to share. Back when I was in high school at USM, lunch was divided into two periods so as to accommodate everyone, and we were seated family style with teachers at most tables. (I imagine it's still the same today) During my Freshman and Junior years, I often sat with Mr. Horlivy. Another frequent table attendee was Liz Peters. 

One on particular day, we had been having a fun yet exuberant discussion in class about the latest essay or book through which we were muddling. Of course, as lunch was after our class, we had to continue the discussion at our table. I recall Mr. Horlivy saying something so outlandish that Liz turned to him and said, "Mr. Horlivy, I now know why your eyes are brown. It's because you're full of shit!" At first I was shocked, as were the rest of us (and possibly including Liz), but the way that he burst out laughing which got us all going, has become a fond memory!

Larry Siewert   11.09.10

About two weeks ago I sent an email telling folks (mostly Marquette High current/past teachers) that we'd have a get together in honor of John. About 20 of us gathered last night at a west side bar to share memories of John, talk about words, read some poety, and generally enjoy the passion and engery that is John. The love and respect that was expressed was outstanding and moving. We had a really great time. Those who were there included:
  • Jim Radtke
  • Phil Krejarek
  • Jerry O'Neil
  • Mike Donovan
  • Sue Gramling
  • Steve Kuhn
  • Jim Wilkinson
  • Terry Kelly 
  • Tim Prosser
  • Rick Bridich
  • Greg & Kathy Meule
  • Carol Hardtke
  • Larry & Nancy Siewert
Quite a few others had conflicts and would have liked to be there but couldn't last night.  We're sure that John was with us and he was pleased. 

collection was taken so we could make a donation in John's name to Literacy Services of Wisconsin, an organization committed to something John was passionate about--developing better literacy for all.

Luke Duncan   11.04.10

I have and will always consider John Horlivy's English class at USM the highest point in my lengthy, cumbersome education. John’s unique educational style (whether moody or over-caffeinated) propelled me into an unknown world travel, photography, and humor. Lucubrate, ad nausea, penultimate; have never been read, heard or thought of by myself without tracing a keen smile back to Mr. Horlivy. I did not learn much English from John – I more importantly learned how to think. Thanks John~

Gail Richardson Nesbitt    11.02.10

Our lives touched when I had the good fortune to stay in the Horlivy household on two separate occasions prior to embarking upon my worldly travels, which enabled me to better see a glimpse of John and the individual that he was. I found John to be a hospitable, kind, gentle, patient soul with an evenness of character who took pride in home and hearth...With sincere sympathy to Dorigen and Emily and family.

Larry Siewart   10.28.10

Although I was an administrator at Marquette High where John taught for many years, our relationship was a real collegueship. We worked on many things together at the school--served on committees, hired teachers, planned for the future, etc. We also were friends and we both lived in Sherman Park at an exciting time there. I always considered John to be a real "pro" who gave his all for his students, in fact, he gave his all to everything he did. He was pationate about life and work. It was always great to be around him as he always had lots to offer and usually in a very excited manner. I was fortunate in many ways for knowing and working with John, and feel privileged to have chatted with him on the phone not long before he passed. Blessings on his daughters and family.

Nancy Siewert   10.28.10

This is indeed a heavy Grace for me. Heavy because of the void he leaves and a Grace knowing that he was such a wonder-filled graceful presence in my life and will continue to be a very special Grace. I have taught yoga for many years and John was like the first male to be in my classes and he LOVED the whole deal. The spirituality, the challenge of the poses, the excitement of the breath and the obvious invitation towards inspiration and possibility. He was a seeker and certainly as the testimonies verify you were always invited to be part of the delight or the mess. His last class was before he left to be with family in CA. Dorigen, I believe he said you were studying to become a Children's yoga instructor in NY. Is this true? He was very proud of you and Emily. I also have to give a shout out to your mom. If you see or talk to her, please send her my best thoughts and prayers for a good life. Bless you all and celebrate our union through the gift of your dad. Big love, nancy

Rev. Christian A Janson   10.28.10

John and I met in Galesville, Wiscnsin in August of l959. Our journeys had only begun.

John did like words and taught me the longest word in Webster's 8th Collegiate: 

I was ordained in St. Louis in l973. Spent 16 years in Mexico and was made pastor of Holy Rosary Church in San Antonio in August of 2005. 

Somehow his obituary arrived at my desk. Once paths cross they continue to cross. 

In Mexico they have a beautiful saying at funerals and I offer it to all of you. I walk with you in whatever you may be feeling.

Fr. Cris Janson (In Mexico, I switched Chris to Cris).

Neal Devitt   10.27.10

I saved John's evaluation on a paper I wrote at Marquette: "I sit here scratching my brain wondering how to capsulize the cosmic . . . This whole thing lumbers in a valid direction. Fortunately your weakest argument doesn't cause the whole tower to collapse. . . Ban the bromide! Trim the trite! Hocus the hackneyed. I'm choking on the dust of this debate world commonplace."

I loved the guy. He sent me home once for wearing blue jeans. Then he began to show up in the classroom reading "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby." He disappeared and then returned bearded and bejeaned.

He imbued a joy of learning/reading. I had the pleasure of introducing my wife to him at our 20th high school reunion as one of my most influential teachers. I wish I could see him again.

Christina Simons   10.26.10

Mr. Horlivy, as I knew him, brought joy to learning literature and fun to a place that wasn't too fun for me. I am so sorry for your loss and I will always remember Mr. Horlivy's Ike-do rolls in front of the classroom lifting the humor of all of us. May he rest in peace.


Sarah Lee   10.26.10

I had the great fortune to have Mr Horlivy as my English teacher as a freshman and again as a junior at USM. One of my favorite memories of Mr Horlivy was the day he showed our class a magazine ad he'd found which advertised "The Penultimate Penthouse"-- misusing one of our most recent vocabulary words. He gathered us conspiratorially into his office and called the number on the ad, informing a very un-amused real estate agent that she had incorrectly used the word "penultimate"--unless of course, the agency had truly meant "the second to last penthouse." His boundless enthusiasm for the English language was both inspiring and infectious, and his almost mathematical approach to grammatical structure has been a lasting force in everything I write. He will be missed.
--Sarah Lee, USM class of 1997

Joe Foltz   10.25.10

Mr. Horlivy once returned a paper to me in my Marquette High freshman English class with the words "Even Homer nodded" next to a B+. It was the lowest grade he had given me for the sememster. I loved his teaching and was very much in synch with him. When I look more than puzzled he explained tenderly that it was a compliment- that it may not always be possible to attain the highest quality even given the highest level of effort. It was so human and kind- and made a lasting impression on me. To this day when a junior lawyer gives me something less than his best I pass on that "even Homer nodded." And better yet, I pass along John's explanation.
Well done John.

Erika (Krause) Bocharov   10.24.10

I feel so lucky to have had Mr. Horlivy as a teacher not once, but twice! Freshman and junior year English were invariably entertaining! Mr. Horlivy was always fun and bright and interesting...even if the subject matter bored me to tears. He had a brilliant way of explaining things without ever being condescending. He was cool. He was real. I can't even remember how many times we would go to hang out in Mr. Horlivy's office during a free period to talk about class or Aikido or Steely Dan. Thank you, Mr. Horlivy. You were truly a gift.

Tom Sinsky   10.24.10

John Horlivy was a transformative presence in the lives of many of us in the Marquette High class of 1971. He opened for us the world of language and art with his indefatigable enthusiasm and love of literature. As Andrew Siewert states in his entry below, he won our respect and admiration because he "took us seriously as students and writers." He was the role model showing us how to be intellectuals yet remain hip and humorous at the same time.

I remember the dapper young English teacher in sport coat, slacks and tie teaching us as sophomores who then took a year off to live in San Francisco returning with beard and granny glasses and Dylan, the Beatles and the other poet icons of the 60's in tow.

I started my college career as an English Major, still under the influence of Mr. Horlivy and Maurice Mohr S.J. (who also died much too young of cancer.) However, after two years it became evident that my talents in that world were limited and I made a right turn into biochemistry and eventually medicine. However, I continue to read voraciously: novels, poetry,and short stories; always on the look out for those who are able to incisively and beautifully articulate our human experience.

I last saw John at our 10 year high school reunion. He had by then moved on to University School. He seemed genuinely happy to be spending the time with us and we had a rich and lively conversation catching up on the intervening years. He said as he left that evening "This was really fun , I will have to come to more of these."

To his family: you were blessed with a treasure. Thank you for sharing him with us. 

~ Tom Sinsky, Dubuque, Iowa

Brian Lonergan   10.22.10

I never met John but from what i have heard about him from Dorigen and Jeffrey i would really like to have known him, sounds like he was an extraordinary man,i feel a sense of loss because i came so close but never got to know this wonderful man.

Andrew Siewert   10.21.10

I had Mr. Horlivy for American Literature at Marquette High -- this would have been 1982-1983 -- and, though I certainly wasn't aware of it at the time, I trace the origins of wanting to become an English teacher to that time with him. I remember reading Catcher in the Rye and not liking it -- A LOT. I recall that I challenged him frequently about literary "interpretations" of the books, its symbols, themes, etc. Though I was probably a jerk about it (most sophomores are), I recall that Mr. Horlivy always listened and seemed to take my thoughts seriously. I tell a version of this story to my students every year and try to remember his example when they frustrate me. I remember his ties and how he claimed to choose the loudest ones he could find as a middle finger to the school policy that teachers had to wear ties. I also remember that he had started collecting pens and was WAY into them. I learned fairly recently that Mr. Horlivy had been a Marianist brother at one time and had taught for a couple of years at the school where I work in St. Louis, Chaminade College Prep. Earlier this week I was looking at some older yearbooks that are currently on display and noticed a photo of him. The next day, my mom called and left a message encouraging me to read his obituary. I am grateful for Mr. Horlivy's influence and example, and I hope that sharing these thoughts bring some comfort to his family and friends.

Chris Sauer   10.21.10

John made Shylock and the Merchant of Venice come alive for me in 1979 at MUHS. Then, the summer after my freshman year, I worked with him at King Cyclery on 21st and Fond du Lac Ave. We spent the summer talking and working on the bikes in our stands. I know it was to be a difficult time for John, but he connected with some folks in a careful, slower, more intense way. As Terry said, he was a bridge to an adult world and someone I still look to as a role model on how to live well. 

Been missing you, John.

Adam Cibik   10.21.10

Sixteen years ago, I had Mr. Horlivy as an English teacher at U-School. He taught me the secrets of living life using Catcher in the Rye (does anyone remember the "Holden through the door" speech?), but that is another story. One afternoon this guy squeezed the entire class into his tiny office, gave us a speech about correct use of the English language, and went on how to properly use the word “penultimate.” You see, John had read a Journal-Sentinel article that day where the reporter misused the word. He went on to call the reporter, in front of the class in his office, and proceeded to call him out. I remember thinking, “this guy is nuts.” Probably one of the best teachers I ever had. A decade and half later, I still use the word "penultimate" correctly, I call people out who use it wrong (a frequent occurrence), I think of John every single time I do it, and hell yes I went through Holden Caulfield’s door and never looked back. Thanks for such having a positive impact on my life John - Dylan and lots of wine will be conspicuously consumed tonight in your honor.

Holly Morse   10.21.10

I am not surprised by the impact that John had on so many!

I remember feeling so sad when he left the fold of our USM Upper School faculty. Colleagues for only a brief time, he had an impact on me when he extended friendship to a "rooky." In the few years we shared on the faculty together, we had numerous philosophical and spiritual conversations that allowed us to connect beyond the usual hallway pleasantries. I will always remember him as an "old soul." 

Gregg Bach   10.21.10

John was one of my favorite teachers at Marquette High. I had him for two composition classes. I still remember the A he gave me on my essay about a snow day. I was so proud. I appreciated his patience and kindness. Our paths crossed again when John began teaching at University School. I was the Upper School Dean. I remember saying hello and calling him by his first name when I saw him on campus. He would later joke that I had no problem calling him John. The transition from former teacher to colleague was easy for me because John was so welcoming, friendly and easygoing. John- many, many thanks for your dedication, friendship and magnanimity.

Lowell Gordon   10.20.10

I was just thinking last night as I drove home how I owe my writing & grammar confidence to Mr. Horlivy. And how I bastardize both daily. Outside of my family I count 3 influential people in my life and he's one of them. You will be missed.

Emily Davis   10.20.10

Mr. Horlivy taught me the great gift of the English language. He encouraged me to write poetry, essays, anything that came along my path. If not for his love for grammar I would not be correcting people to this day. I am about to become an author for the first time and I know that it wouldn't be possible without the amazing guidance and love from Mr. Horlivy. He was a phenomenal teacher, human being, and friend. He will be so deeply missed.

Jon Daly   10.20.10

In 1968, when I was a freshman in high school and seemingly no interest in drama, Mr Horlivy got me up in English class and had me read passages as Sylock in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. It was an eye-opening experience for me; and yet little did I know that he would set me on a path that led me to major in drama in college, and pursue a career as an actor. Forty years later, I played Shylock at the Great River Shakespeare Festival. I have always thought as Mr. Horlivy as the first person to ever recognize my talents.

Mary McCabe   10.20.10

My late husband, John McCabe, was a member of the faculty in the Department of English at Marquette University from 1966 until 1999. In December of 2000 he entered into his new life.

He thoroughly enjoyed having John Horlivy as a student. Especially, in his Chaucer courses. Then, when he learned from John that the name Dorigen was chosen for a daughter because of Chaucer's Dorigen, he was delighted anew.

Your family have a fine life to celebrate.  May your loving memories bring joy and consolation to your current sad hearts.

Chris Kursel   10.20.10

This is sad news. Mr. Horlivy was the first teacher I had who nurtured a connection between the passionate and the artistic. I consider him my earliest artistic influence; someone who encouraged the rigorous practice of art, as well as the pure enjoyment of it. More teachers ought to do so. 

My sincere condolences to his family. I was lucky to have him as a teacher--what a great father, brother, husband, uncle etc. he must have been. 

Marie (Kohler-Cabot) Fox   10.20.10

I remember the incredible enthusiasm Mr Horlivy had in our classroom at USM -- it was inspiring. I will never forget his teaching us the logic fallacy of 'post hoc ergo propter hoc' -- with great gusto and good humor. I feel extremely grateful to have had him as an influence in my life, and send my love and thoughts to your whole family.

Terry Mulert   10.20.10

I was a student of 'Mr. Horlivy' in 1979 at MUHS. He was my Freshman English teacher. I never paid attention. I was an annoyance to myself, to my peers and to him.

Then one day, he read "The Raven" out loud to the class and something clicked for me. Never having been exposed to poetry, it changed my life. I have since written and published my poetry widely and am a professor of Writing and Rhetoric at a small college- an unlikely path for sure, and I undoubtedly and gratefully trace the beginning to him. 

Another moment of clarity with John occurred when he became the first adult to make a personal, meaningful connection to me at MUHS: he overheard me talking about an obscure song that I was obsessed with:

Jump into the Fire by Harry Nilsson. 

He desperately wanted a copy of that album and so I loaned him my record so he could bootleg it. I have not forgotten that human connection 30 years ago, that bridge between childhood and the world of experience to come. 

I wish love and peace for his family and friends.

Robert Colla   10.20.10

He looked around furtively and then produced a thermos that he had concealed beneath his corduroy jacket with the patched elbows. “Ice Nine!”, he exclaimed.

“What?”, was my response.

“Ice Nine!”, he repeated. My silence spoke volumes to him as he queried me in astonishment, “You mean you haven’t read Kurt Vonnegut?”. 

And so, thanks to John Horlivy, began my life-long love affair with the works of Kurt Vonnegut, for which I will always be grateful.

“Mr. Horlivy”, a teacher at Marquette High School in Milwaukee, was probably about 28 years old at the time. But to this 16 year old, he was an incredibly cool and extremely knowledgeable English teacher who added jet fuel to my love of the language and passion for words. 

Many teachers have positively impacted my life, but the too few months I spent with John Horlivy will always be treasured.

Michael Flynn   10.20.10

I am a 1976 graduate of Marquette High School. I was fortunate enough to go on in my education; I eventually became a dentist. Through my many years of classroom instruction, I encountered, endured and enjoyed quite a few teachers. There are a few who I fondly remember and John Horlivy is one of them.

Each year I travel to the east coast where I visit with my brother and a few close friends, all Marquette High graduates. We play sheepshead, we laugh heartily at recycled stories that have been told countless times and we also reminisce about our days at the High. In our discussions about which teachers we believed had made a difference in our lives, John Horlivy's name has always been mentioned. He was an excellent English teacher who possessed a great gift. His gift to his students was his ability to make them critically "think" and not just "learn".

I am sad to learn of his passing but happy to have been one of his students.

Roger Majchrzak   10.20.10

I served with John on the student council and also was on "his' prom court. As I recall, he always had a smile on his face.

Toby Mei   10.20.10

John and I were very close friends in high school at Don Bosco. I graduated in 1960 and John was a year ahead of me. I served on his student council. We double dated often and hung out at Pepi's Pizza. One of my fondest memories was John's love of Bobby Darin. He did the greatest impression of Bobby Darin's moves and songs that I have ever seen or heard since. My deepest sympathies to Anne. He will remain in my prayers.

John Pandl   10.20.10

John Horlivy was my freshman high school English teacher at Marquette High. He was one fo the best teachers I ever had. I was a shy, insecure, unathletic 15 year old and John made me feel completely accepted in his class. He instilled a life long interest in learning in me that has led to two masters drgrees and I am now pursing a doctorate at the age of 57! 

Not only was he a great teacher, he was fun! I remember the Jaberwocky poem and then creating our own nonsense words. One funny thing I rememeber is that John was taking a date to a Marquette dance that he was chaperoning. He had a nickname for the woman, I think it was "Advent Angel". He made us promise not to say anything about the nickname if we met them at the dance. I told one of my friends who was in another English class and at the dance, he came up to John and said, "so this is your Advent Angel!" We heard about that in class on Monday!

I have thought about John over the years, more than most of my high school teachers. I'm sure he had a similar impact on many others. I was a great blessing for me to have our paths cross in 1967-68 and he significantly was a part of my adult formation. I will always be grateful to him for that.

Karoline Steckley   10.19.10

Boy am I glad I learned how to teach next door to this guy. John Horlivy was one of the finest teachers that ever lived and I will always remember the great rhetorical reminders posted in his classroom at USM including "Avoid clichés like the plague," his genuine EXCITEMENT about words, that old-fashioned typewriter font he liked so much, his crush on Maureen Dowd, drinking beers and talking teaching Fridays after school,and how he would just LIGHT UP when he talked about his girls, Emily and Dorigen.
I am so glad I knew him and will continue to refer to memories of sitting in on his classes when I was a first-year teacher whenever I have one of those those "what would Horlivy do?" moments in the classroom. His tricks still work. 
Miss you, John.

Steve Bertucci   10.19.10

I worked with John for several years at University School. John taught me how to use the word, 'posit', which hasn't helped me at all. My favorite story involved his parking skills. I drove a black, Lincoln Continental. John would often park so close to me that I couldn't open my door. He found it so hilarious. So one day, I fixed him. I waited in my office, watching out the window. John drove in, parked a few inches from my car, and got out. At that moment, I hit the alarm button on my key fob. John nearly jumped out of his shoes. He came straight to my office where we both laughed heartily. I knew I had a friend from that point on. Rest in peace dear friend.

Ben Zarwell   10.19.10

From the moment I began working at USM, John welcomed me with enthusiasm. He was passionate about his subject, passionate about teaching, and passionate about his friends. We spent many Friday evenings at "the Speak", talking shop and unwinding.

Mary Ward and Jim Walrath   10.19.10

Dear Dorigen and Emily

The pictures are just as we remember your wonderful father.
Sly sense of humor, intellectually curious - a man as they say "of many parts." His greatest part, of course, was being father to his beloved daughters.

Our love and sympathy to you. Mary Ward and Jim Walrath

Jessica Owley   10.19.10

It is simply impossible to think of one story. I first met John Horlivy when I was in 3rd grade and became fast friends with Dorigen. I also had the honor of twice being one of his English students at USM.

I too well remember the Aikido rolls and the grammar lessons. Colleagues and friends still turn to me with their grammar questions and I credit him for starting me on that path.(I never did pick up any Aikido though). He inspired a love of reading and words. I found his comments on my high school English papers so touching and insightful that I kept many of them.

I also remember John Horlivy as one of the first adults who liked some of the same music I did. He in fact introduced me to the music of Natalie Merchant.

I am most thankful for the fact that he welcomed me into his home and raised a young girl named Dorigen who is one of the most awesome people I know.

Jim and Mary Walrath   10.19.10

Thank you, John, for knowing that Sherman Park was a good place to raise a family; for making it that good place; for babysitting in the co-op that brought so many families together (I'll bet you even served as a secretary, tallying points); for reading books to and playing music for our kids and the other family's when babysitting; for taking those photos that are dear to us (like the co-op picture at Sherman Park that Dorigen and Emily have lovingly posted)(and like the photos of our smiling, laughing children, Luke and Danny, that grace our bedroom wall and greet us every night and every morning); for leading the way for those of us over-challenged by our many Sherman Park home improvement projects (for example, by painstakingly removing the paint, and restoring the woodwork in your Grant Blvd home); for loving two beautiful daughters who were easy to babysit and read to; for book club and bringing authors for discussion into our Sherman Park homes; and for wearing those t-shirts, and clapping and laughing (as I see you in the wonderful photo next to this comment box), because we've had much to laugh about, together. 

Jim and Mary 

Shari Weingrod   10.18.10

there are a million memories
this was a man of words, of humor, of respect for others and the earth

this was the ultimate in a parent, self-sacrificing, always ready to learn and do more
this is a man i admired and learned from, watching him take life's blows and life's joys will equal enthusiasm and courage

this was my neighbor sharing our children, our homes, our lives.
taking care of one another and our parents
sharing holidays, birthdays, everydays.
children's difficulties, ailments and woes
schoolwork, meals and house caretaking
we did it as neighbors and friends

quiet conversations, where we revealed our inner lives and shared the travails of existence

bookclub conversations, john always guiding us to better levels of thought, pushing us to analyze

so serious and yet a prankster - loved to make people laugh

this is a man who loved being a dad, who relished friendships, who helped others even though he cherished his alone time

watching his daughters grow his ultimate happiness, all that he nurtured, producing two such good humans for the world

i will always happily be a witness to his integrity, decency, strength of mind and curiosity
travel well, john. to another life. the earth weeps with me in missing you. but my heart will always be able to easily shout how good you were to all of us, and how much you mattered to our lives. have peace my dear friend. i love you always.

Liz Peters   10.18.10

I was one of the many fortunate students at USM to have Mr. Horlivy as a teacher. He delighted in my iconoclasm, embraced my idiosyncrasies, and most importantly, encouraged my curiosity and nurtured my confidence. I would be a poorer person without him. Thank you, Mr. Horlivy.

Issa Kohler-Hausmann   10.18.10

John Horlivy's enthusiasm for knowledge was contagious. His excitement for learning was inspiring. I actually know grammar because of him, not only that I find it fun and whenever I have a grammar issue I have this flashback to the USM classroom where I learned the lesson. He really made a mark on my mind. I was so lucky to have him as a teacher and as a family friend. My prayers and condolences to the wonderful family he made. You are in my heart.

April Harriell   10.18.10

Growing up on Grant Blvd. next door to the wonderful Horlivy family-- and best friends with Emily for YEARS-- I have many fond memories of John. His Rabbit car was a classic. I loved to ride around in that car...I thought it was so cool! I spent the night just about every weekend in the Horlivy home (so many great memories of the music room-- playing Barbie dolls with Emily for HOURS, the nook, the telephone room, listening to Alvin & the Chipmunks on Emily's record player...). I remember lots of nights as Emily and I played downstairs, I'd hear John playing his guitar in his room upstairs...the sound of the guitar & the tap of his foot on the floor. As much noise as Emily & I often times made at night being silly & giggly little girls, eating late night snacks of Eggo waffles & peanut butter-- I can't recall one time that John came downstairs to yell at us. A couple times a year, he'd take Emily & I to the wonderful theatre productions at USM. I always looked forward to those excursions. In middle school he arranged for me to come & visit USM-- I got to tour the school, sit in on classes, eat lunch-- like I was a real USM student. I was very excited & impressed when I got the chance to sit in his class & watch him at work. He was a fabulous teacher! The last time I saw John was at Emily & Peter's wedding in 2006. It had been years since we'd seen each other, but we had many wonderful conversations. I enjoyed seeing him & talking to him...reminiscing about our years on Grant Blvd. John was a wonderful neighbor, a great father to his two little girls- Emily & Dorigen(he adored you guys!), a wonderful teacher, and overall, just an extremely wonderful man. 

Anna Rulnick   10.17.10

I had Mr Horlivy during his first year as a teacher at USM. One day, during what must have been the first week of school, I was sitting on a couch in the hall and Mr Horlivy was walking down the hall. He tripped on the carpet as he was walking, but in some feat of acrobatics he turned it into a martial arts roll and jumped up into a ready stance!

All of us on the couch were stunned silent and sat with our mouths agape. 

I think this early impression of Mr Horlivy showed us that he was not going to be the typical high school teacher. And most likely, he was not going to be boring. And from time to time, after a tough quiz or test, and with enough coaxing, Mr Horlivy would give us a little roll demo in class. 

Olivia Cronk   10.17.10

Last night we had to drive home from Milwaukee late. Although the turn-off for 43 is well ahead of our path back to Chicago, the roads around there look similar--and the cool night and the feeling of being tucked in a car on the way back to a bed and home reminded me of one, very ordinary night on which Mr. Horlivy drove Emily and me back to Beloit from a weekend in Milwaukee. I had been in the Horlivy house, sitting in the beloved telephone room, eating breakfast in the nook, browsing the dripping piles of books in Mr. H's study. It was my first time in Milwaukee in this way: at someone's home, with someone's dad, with Emily, seeing her in her natural habitat. The weekend was nice, and as I said, ordinary. Mr. Horlivy said he'd drive us back to school. We three got in his car--Emily and I, I am sure, with the strange and sloppy overnight bags of students, of girls. We drove down the interstates. We passed by the horribly lit strip malls and all commented on our shared distaste for the mega-ness. I think Mr. Horlivy said something about the rhetoric of our era. I think Em and I agreed and added our younger perspective. Nothing happened; it was very pleasant. It was just a ride home from a relaxing weekend. It was the three of us, maybe the only time ever we three were alone. I liked it. It soothed me. It was and is a nice memory, of nothing particularly complex or dramatic. We waved to Mr. Horlivy from the walk leading to the dormitories. We went to bed.