Rev. Betty A. Hornback

April 24, 1937January 7, 2021

PEKIN ~ Rev. Betty Anne Hornback, 83, of Pekin, passed away at 10:45 p.m. Thursday, January 7, 2021 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.

Born April 24, 1937 in Poughkeepsie, New York to William Amos Lovekin Parke and Marion Elizabeth (Nyborg) Parke, she married Junior Neal Scurlock on April 1, 1956 in Pekin. She later married Richard Dean Hornback on July 28, 1984 in Pekin. He died December 8, 2015 in Peoria. She also was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Peter Alan.

Surviving are three daughters, Cathy L. (Ralph) Brown of Springfield, Rebecca Anne Scurlock Gould of Cerrillos, New Mexico and Sheila Sue (Patrick) Scurlock Miller of Pekin; one son, Robert Neal (Valerie) Scurlock of North Pekin; nine grandchildren, Shawna (Todd) Neihoff, Ronald Harris, Nicole (Josh) Rakes, Jesse Starry, Alan Tribe, Jayce Parrish, Gabriel Scurlock, Troy Scurlock and Kaylee Scurlock; great-grandchildren, Michael Davis, Samantha Davis, Alexandra Headley, Brantley Rakes and Elayna Rakes, and three great-great grandchildren, Aubrii Headley, Romeo Headley and Arianna Headley; one sister, Nancy Jane (Ernest) Finney of California and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Betty was a 1993 graduate of Sangamon State University in Springfield with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. She earned her Master of Arts Degree in Human Development Counseling from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 1997.

Betty previously worked in medical office work for Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, Neurological Associates in Peoria and then as the office manager/secretary for Arcadia Presbyterian Church in Peoria. In 1986, Betty became aware of a licensed ministry preparation program to train to be licensed for ministry in the United Church of Christ. Betty was the first candidate to enter this program in the Western Association in the Illinois Conference and became licensed on May 3, 1988. She was ordained to Christian Ministry in the United Church of Christ on June 8, 2001. Betty faithfully served congregations in Beardstown, Galesburg, Pekin, Paxton, Kewanee, Champaign, Mazon, Marseilles and Chillicothe. Betty’s spiritual walk began in New Knoxville, Ohio at the Evangelical & Reformed Church, where she grew up and was confirmed. Betty’s gifts for ministry were recognized not only in the local churches she served, but also by the denomination. In 1999, Betty was one of three laywomen honored at the United Church of Christ's General Synod in Providence, Rhode Island, for outstanding contributions to women's leadership development; and, closer to home, Betty was honored in 2016 with the Chalice Award recognizing her leadership and countless contributions to the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Betty’s interests included genealogy, writing and reading light mysteries. She loved her family and was passionate about attending family activities. She was a special grand mother to her grandkids and three granddaughters were named after her as well as one daughter. She also loved traveling, especially to Meriden Connecticut, where she lived as a young child. Her Swedish grandparents came to America, settling and building their home in Meriden. She also was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution on the Parke side.

She was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ in Pekin.

Her funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 15, 2021 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. The Rev. Jon Prain will officiate. The funeral will be live streamed on the Preston-Hanley Facebook page. Visitation will be held from 9 to 10:15 a.m. Friday at the funeral home. Guidelines regarding social distancing and the wearing of masks will be followed. Cremation will be accorded following the funeral. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, February 26, 2021 at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield. Pastor Judy Steger Kennedy will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Western Association of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, 617 North First Street, DeKalb, Illinois 60115.

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  • Visitation

    Friday, January 15, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, January 15, 2021


Rev. Betty A. Hornback

have a memory or condolence to add?

Alexandra Headley

January 16, 2021

My great grandmother was always there when I needed her no matter what. She always made sure I had something to eat everyday when I was pregnant with my first child. I remember her taking me to the grocery store and not taking no for an answer. Lol. I am thankful I was able to do the same for her after she got sick. I feel blessed I was able to help care for her when she needed it most. She was so caring and so sweet. I remember spending my days at her house as a kid after school, working on home work and eating her yummy egg sandwiches while grandpa Dick watched jeopardy and M.A.S.H. I still make her egg sandwiches to this day. I also remember learning how to garden with her in the back yard as a child. I am thankful for all the memories I have of her. Im so great-full that she was able to spend time with all three of my children before she passed. I loved how big of a smile she got when I brought them over to see her. She really loved her family so much. She will forever be missed and loved.

Christopher Lyons

January 15, 2021

I have so many great memories of Betty. The one that means the most to me was when my mother passed in 2004. I don’t know how Betty found out so quickly but within minutes she was the first person to show up at the hospital to comfort me. It was an act of kindness that to this day holds a very special place in my heart. Betty was a very special woman and I feel blessed and honored to have known her. Heaven is a better place now that Betty is home.

Shawna Neihoff

January 14, 2021

I have so many wonderful memories with my grandma, Betty. We spent a lot of time together and my memories with her go back to age 2. She is my hero, my best friend, and role model. She was the best grandma, always there when I needed her. Over the years I needed her a lot. She was my shoulder to cry on, my proof reader and tutor through college, my babysitter, my everything. She knew just how to calm me down and was always available when I called. Even available for those late night drives to help me finish a paper. And those early morning perfect pancakes or homemade waffles to put a smile back on my face. I love you grandma, you were so much more than a grandma to me. I will forever miss you and cherish our memories.

Nicole Rakes

January 10, 2021

My Grandmas house was always my favorite place to visit growing up. She would make each visit feel so special by baking cooking with me and making me Mickey Mouse pancakes or waffles - whichever I requested. It was always followed by going to church with her on Sunday and watching her preach. I didn’t know as a child how special those memories would feel watching her put her robe and necklace on. She started my love for our God which I now share with my children. I’m thankful for all the days I got to be with her and hear her call me “Nicki her little chickie”. It was always my pleasure helping take care of her, the least I could do for all the things she did for me. I’m happy she is at peace and reunited with my grandpa but it doesn’t make it any easier. I will miss her so much.