Charlene Hornbeck

April 1, 1928January 8, 2019

Charlene Hornbeck, 90, passed away January 8, 2019. She was born in Hays, KS. She is survived by her daughter: Laura (Carl) Olden; granddaughter, Kris Cranston; grandsons, Jon and Devin Tarnasky; great grandsons, Tyler and Regan Plotzke; great granddaughter, Emma Plotzke as well as many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her son: David Hornbeck; both parents, John R. and Pauline Anna Staab; brothers, Lawrence, Nick, Gene, Johnny and Jerry and sisters, Marcella Groves, Georgene Francis, Annie Bruns and Benita Vonfeldt Joy. As a girl growing up in a small town in the middle of Kansas she found joy in playing cowboy and Indians with the neighbor kids. She was referred to as “Golly” for her song of Golly Golly Goo Goo while she trotted the neighborhood on her stick horse. She graduated from All Girls Catholic School in 1946. Charlene, as well as her four sisters, all began their careers as telephone operators. She eventually moved to Denver and was introduced to her husband, Searing Richard Hornbeck, on a blind date by two mutual friends. They married in 1956 and had two children, Laura and David. Divorced twenty years later in 1976 Charlene would never remarry. She continued to support herself and David as a retail clerk working for an outdoor store and Fred Meyer department store. She lost her youngest child in a tragic automobile accident in 1978. Charlene’s daughter, Laura, blessed her with a granddaughter in 1980 and two grandsons in 1993 and 1994. While babysitting her grandbabies she acquired a new nickname “Cheese Grama”. A rewrite of a story she wrote and submitted to Readers Digest for Kids say the darndest things follows: I have two grandsons, Devin 4 years old and Jon 5 years old. They love cheese. I always have cheese in my fridge when they come to visit. I acquired the name “Cheese Grama”. One evening I babysat the boys and they spent the night with me. As I sat and rocked the 5 year old, Jon, every once in a while he would ask me about my son David. David was killed in a car accident at the age 17. He asked me “Cheese Grama, is David up in the sky and is he an angel”? I answered, “Yes, I think he is and he watches over us.” He said “Grandma, will you be an angel?” I said “I hope so sweetie and I will watch over you and your brother”. He thought for a minute and said “Grama, where are Davids things?” I told him his mom is keeping his things for me. Then he said “Grandma, what will you do with all of your things?” I told him mommy will take care of my things when I am gone. He thought so seriously for a minute “Grama, will you leave us some cheese?” Charlene never drove a car so had to rely on neighbors, friends and relatives for transportation. I take that back. She drove a car once, hit a curb and never drove again. She always felt like her walking back and forth to and from work is what kept her on her feet for so long. She was gracious, kind, loving and generous beyond words. She was always offering gifts of money for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and to anyone who was down in their luck and just needed to make it until their next paycheck. She was a kind soul, funny, loving and never was one to complain. Everyone she met knew what a loving person she was. She will be missed by so many. Arrangements are under the care of HARDAGE-GIDDENS RIVERMEAD FUNERAL HOME 127 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, FL 32073. We invite you to leave words of comfort at


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Charlene Hornbeck

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Jon Tarnasky

January 11, 2019

A single memory of her wouldn't do her justice all I can say is she was the kindest and funniest woman you'd ever meet. There wasn't a single hateful bone in her body. She always had a smile on her face and brought one to yours, even on the gloomiest of days. She'd get feisty and everyone would end up laughing. Nothing meant more to her then her family. She was loved by all.

Ben and Pat Mallery

January 11, 2019

We met Charlene when her daughter Laura married our son Carl. She had a great sense of humor and always had a smile and a kind of word for everyone.

Debbie Cochran

January 9, 2019

Aunt Charlene was beautiful, kind, loving, funny and endearing . My favorite memories are our nightly chats to talk about everything and nothing. I loved her for being my confidant, caring about me and my family, and making me laugh with her witty sense of humor. My prayers and thoughts are with Laura, Carl and family and know that Aunt Charlene is at peace now and that we'll see her again one day.