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Obituary of Joseph Horvath
Joe Horvath passed into his eternal reward of natural causes at age 85.
Joe was born and raised in Szekesfehervar, Hungary and grew up through WWII. As a young man, he was a member of the local soccer team and cycling team. His team won the Hungarian National Cycling Championship in 1955 and 1956. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Joe chose to escape his beloved homeland to pursue a better life as did nearly a quarter million others including his beloved wife Erzsebet Klein. Joe and Erzsebet knew each other from school in their hometown of Szekesfehervar. With only what he could carry with him to include a toy compass and a small map cut from an encyclopedia, Joe struck out on foot to cross into the Austrian border to freedom. He left everything behind including his family and friends. Because of his innate leadership abilities, he attracted a following of other individuals and families that he also helped to escape.
From Austria, he proceeded to Germany where he enlisted in the United States Army in 1958 in Frankfurt. He was assigned to Fort Jackson for basic training where he learned English. From there he was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and from Fort Benning he was stationed in Alaska. From Alaska, he was stationed in Heilbronn, Germany. It was there that he re-met and married Erzsebet - his lifelong wife and partner of 61 years.
Joe served in Korea and Vietnam. He ended his 20-year Army career at Fort Jackson as a Master Sergeant. After retirement, Joe enjoyed a long and productive life with his family in Columbia, South Carolina.
His list of interests and activities during his retirement was diverse. Joe raised and raced homing pigeons, collected stamps, built furniture, repaired clocks, made wooden puzzles and clocks, repaired and collected fishing reels, and enjoyed fishing.
He is survived by his wife Erzsebet Klein Horvath, son Robert Horvath, daughter Christine Horvath Miller, son Patrick Horvath, son-in-law Andrew C. (“Drew”) Miller II, daughter-in-law Kim Killius Horvath, and his grandsons Andrew C. (“Wells”) Miller III and Jakob Joseph Horvath.
Joe was loved by all who knew him and will be dearly missed.