Dr. William Hornaday, Jr. Obituary

Dr. William R. Hornaday, Jr.
Dr. William R. Hornaday, Jr.

June 14, 1929 - January 22, 2022
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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William Roy Hornaday, Jr. died Saturday, January 22, 2022 at the Health Care Center of Scottish Rite Park. He was 92.

Bill was born the son of William R. and Clementina (Wolfe) Hornaday on June 14, 1929, in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended Greenwood Elementary, Callanan Junior High, and Roosevelt High School, where he graduated in 1947. He attended Northwestern University for three years before being accepted early to the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

Bill married Mary Mills on August 15, 1953, and together they moved to Oakland, Calif., where he had an internship at Highland Alameda County Hospital, then to Dothan, Ala., where he served as a battalion surgeon with the U.S. Army at Fort Rucker. He returned to Iowa City in 1957 to pursue training in urology, continuing in the footsteps of his father.

In 1961 Bill established a private urology practice in Des Moines, where he cared for his patients with skill, empathy and mutual respect for more than thirty years. He was a member of the Polk County Medical Society, where he served as president in 1972; he was also a member of the Iowa Medical Society, the American Medical Association, the Iowa Urologic Association and the American Urologic Association. He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Even when he was working hardest, Bill enjoyed life to its fullest, from fishing and canoe trips in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota to deep-sea fishing in Baja; from dancing to Count Basie to weekend jigsaw puzzles and pitch games. He also loved experimenting in the kitchen, where his graceful surgeon’s hands were perfectly suited to making delicate crusts for his favorite black raspberry pies. A loyal attendee of the Iowa State Fair and a fan of the Culinary Arts Building, Bill took it upon himself to enter the popcorn ball contest, spending a year refining the ideal ratio of popped kernels to Karo Syrup; having failed to win, place or show (“balls too sticky”), he redoubled his efforts and came back the next year to take the blue ribbon.

After being cooped up in air-conditioned offices and hospital rooms, Bill loved nothing more than to water the garden on a humid summer day, drink in hand, watching the sun go down over the zinnias Mary planted in their backyard on Greenwood Drive. Upon his retirement in 1995, he was able to pursue his many passions, including golf, tennis, gardening and building a vibrant community of friends and neighbors in the Park at Southern Hills.

Bill and Mary were married for 52 years before Mary’s death in 2006; he was blessed to find the second love of his life in Katie Meredith, who brought him joy, fun and adventure until her death in 2014. In addition to Mary and Katie, Bill was preceded in death by his parents, a son who died in infancy and his sisters Nancy Chambers, Margaret Nutt and Barbara Graham.

Bill is survived by his son William R. Hornaday III (Marty), his daughter Ann (Dennis) Greenia, grandchildren William IV, Curtis and Victoria, and great-grandchildren Kennedy and William David. He also leaves behind several generations of nephews, nieces and their spouses, partners, children and grandchildren, all of whom he deeply cherished.

Bill’s family would like to extend special thanks to the staffs of Home Care Partners and the Health Care Center at Scottish Rite Park, where Bill made his home for the past few months. Although his stay was short, SRP made him feel at home immediately, and demonstrated the same values of love and compassion that animated his life.

A visitation will be held on Friday, February 18 from 4 until 6 p.m. at Dunn’s Funeral Home. After a private internment, memorial services will be held on Saturday, February 19 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Dr. William R. Hornaday Endowment for Continuing Nursing Education at UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.





Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Friday, February 18, 2022
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Memorial Service
St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral
815 High Street
Des Moines, IA US 50309
Saturday, February 19, 2022
11:00 AM