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Hilda Benhilda Ossa Villamizar de Horan (January 26, 1925 – April 6, 2022) lived an unconventional life for the time, filled with love for her husband, her children, extended family and friends around the globe, travel, the arts, books, music and swimming.

Fiercely independent, well-educated and intelligent she lived her life to the fullest and on her terms as much as she could. From Bogotá, Colombia where she grew up with a large extended family, friends and a variety of pets, learning 5 languages, she earned her 1st degree in social work.

Post college she volunteered for the Red Cross and those skills came in handy later in life with her 5 children. It was after college that she met her future husband, Bill Horan, who was in Bogotá for his junior year abroad from the University of Minnesota. Later, she attended the University of Minnesota to earn a second degree where she saw Bill again and while studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, she saw Bill again. She returned to Colombia after U of M, and while traveling to New York City to take her father to medical appointments, she reconnected with her future husband.

After several years of an epistolary relationship, she received her wedding proposal via cable. She arrived in Monrovia, Liberia to marry. After Liberia, they settled in New York City – one of her favorite places as an art mecca - and started their family. They moved to Bardonia, Rockland County, first. Later on, to Campbell Hall in rural Orange County. Their 5th child was born in Colombia as she wanted at least one child born there. Summers were spent with her minding the children while Bill studied for his masters and later his PhD.

She made jams, canned vegetables, baked bread from scratch, took the family swimming, to the Bronx Zoo, West Point, Storm King Art Center, Rhinebeck, the Botanical Garden. When the family moved to Madrid for a year, she optimized every opportunity to see churches, museums and as much of the region as she could. Back in Campbell Hall, retirement took them to Asheville, NC, first and later to Red Bank, NJ – closer to family as they aged. In Red Bank, they were able to participate in the lives of the children and grandchildren nearby. She continued to travel for as long as she was physically able. Passionate about her Catholic faith, she gave time to the church wherever she lived.

She is predeceased by her husband, William/Bill P. Horan Jr., her parents, María Villamizar de Ossa and Peregrino Ossa Varela, brother Jorge Ossa and grandson, Billy Shuttleworth. She is survived by her children, William/Gil P (Patrice) Horan III, Maria Shuttleworth, Cecilia (William) Jones, Jorge (Mohamed) Horan and Joe (Nancy) Horan as well as 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Monday, May 16, at 10:30 am at the Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven, NJ. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Parkinson's Foundation . Thompson Memorial Home of Red Bank, NJ has been entrusted with the arrangements.

 

 

 

 

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