Bill Horne Passes

March 4, 2021

St. Thomas, ON - - Bill Horne Passes

Updated Article 8 March 2021



by "Wright's Lane" - Richard (Dick) Wright


Bill Horne, Larry Lynch and Dan Yantzi - Photo 

From: Fastball Legends Honoured in Kitchener - 2009



3 March 2021

Very sad news from St.Thomas today with the death of coaching and Fastball legend Bill Horne.

I do not have details but Bill did so much for the game he loved and gave so much for so many players who played for him over the decades. He was always a bigger than life player, an excellent pitcher , an outstanding hitter and in spite of his large size he could drop a bunt and out run the play at first base.

He won 4 men's National Championships as a manager/coach, and  5th National in Junior men's. His St.Thomas Evergreen Centennial won back to back Canadians in the mid 2000's. He also won numerous OASA  provincial championships and an Ontario Baseball Association junior championship with St.Thomas. I had the honour to share many years on the bench with Bill in Kitchener after years of playing against him in St.Thomas.

Bill Horne gave everything to keep the game alive at the highest level in St.Thomas and the list of players he pencilled into his lineup card are a whose who of some of the best the Canadian game has ever seen.

Bill struggled with his health in recent years but his love of softball was second only to his love of Family. He was a true icon in our game and his passing today will be mourned by teammates around the world.

Farewell old friend, you will be with your little girl Katie now and no doubt the 28 ounce T-Bone and an extra large pizza close beside it. Enjoy them all Billy, you certainly earned them.

Deepest sympathy to Bill's wife Donna and daughter Jocelyn and all of the HORNE family.

Larry Lynch



Obituary for William "Bill" Robert Horne

5 March 2021 - Williams Funeral Home - St Thomas, ON

Horne – William Robert “Bill” of St. Thomas passed away at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 at the age of 69. Beloved husband of Donna Jean (née Hutchison) Horne, dearly loved father of Jocelyn Leahy and her husband Patrick of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta and the late Katie Horne (2005). Proud grandfather to Sloane and Fallon Leahy. Loved brother of Karen and her husband Dr. Frank Murphy of Dundas, Jack Chappel of Tillsonburg, Gerry Chappel and his wife Pam of London and Nancy Chappel of St. Thomas. Bill will be loved and remembered by Marlene and Hollie Archer of Stratford, Carman and Margaret Hutchison of St. Thomas, Dewayne and Velda Hutchison of Iona Station, Richard and Gloria Hutchison of Willowdale, Mary Ann and Ron Jewell of St. Thomas and Nancy Piggins of St.Thomas. He will be sadly missed by a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Bill was born in St. Thomas on June 29th, 1951, the son of the late Bob and Kathleen Horne. Until retirement, Bill worked at Hartz Mountain before becoming a Sales and Leasing Consultant at various dealerships and later, a taxi driver.

One of his biggest accomplishments was his family. He met his best friend and lifetime love, Donna, at Pinafore Park ball diamond and they were married for 45 years. Being a father was everything to Bill. He was very proud of his girls and loved watching them grow up. Jocelyn and Katie both adored him and he was always there for them, giving them opportunities, adventures and memories that will continue to be cherished. He was their hero and protector and perhaps that is why the loss of Katie was so hard on Bill. Those that knew him well, know that he struggled to get his spark back after she passed. One can imagine that as he is reunited with her now, his heart is complete again. More recently Bill stepped into the role of proud grandpa, where his big ol’ teddy bear nature shined brightly, as he thought the world of Sloane and Fallon.

Outside of his family, his other great accomplishment came in the fastball community. Billy Horne and the ballpark went hand in hand. His presence will be dearly missed there and he will be remembered as one of the most successful and celebrated fastball pitchers and team managers in Canada. He played the game for over four decades before going on to coach at the minor, junior and senior levels; capturing championships at both the provincial and national level. In recent days the overwhelming number of stories and anecdotes shared over messages and social media are testament to hearts he touched and the mark he has left in this community.

Due to COVID-19, a private family service will be held with hopes of a celebration of life at a later time. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to your favourite watering hole where you can raise a glass or two and tell a few stories of the great Billy Horne or to the Centennial Sports Club, Canadian Lung Association, or the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. Williams Funeral Home, 45 Elgin St., St. Thomas entrusted with arrangements.

Send flowers to the service of William "Bill" Robert Horne



10 July 2022 - Fingal, Ontario - Unveiling of Bench to Honour Our Friend Bill Horne:







 6 March 2021

  by "Wright's Lane" - Richard (Dick) Wright





Mr. Fastball personified

 15 March 2009




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