John William Horch, 83, died Sunday, April 4, 2021. A resident of Madison, Alabama for 40 years, he was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where he graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1955 and went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree in statistics from Iowa State University in 1959. During the Korean Conflict, he served with the Army Reserve. As a youth, he was active in the Boy Scouts, where he and his father, Vernon B. Horch, were awarded their Eagle Scouts together. He participated in the Scouts’ Mitigwa Dancers, honoring the Native Americans who had populated the area.
Mr. Horch’s career spanned over 40 years, starting as a software developer on the Safeguard missile project in the early 1960s. He spent the bulk of his career establishing quality control, quality assurance, verification and validation processes for a number of defense and private sector employers. In the later years of his career, he traveled to many countries to teach seminars on these subjects, instilling in him a lifelong love of travel.
At the same time, Mr. Horch was a respected member of professional associations including the IEEE Computer Society, GUIDE International, and the Quality Assurance Institute. He is the author of the book, “Practical Guide to Software Quality Management” (1996).
Mr. Horch’s civic activities included serving on the Board of Education of Boonton, New Jersey, the Planning and Zoning Board of Madison, and several officer positions within the Knights of Columbus. He volunteered countless hours over many years with American Red Cross and was a lifelong blood donor. A devout Roman Catholic, he was an active parishioner at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Madison as a choir member and lector.
Mr. Horch’s primary leisure interests were world travel, and collecting and operating Lionel model trains.
Mr. Horch was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon Burnett Horch and Jerda Alida Horch; his children Kathleen Hope Horch and Jennifer Bridget Horch. He is survived by his wife, Candace; children Edward Horch (Eileen Reilly) of New Jersey, Stephanie Schulz of Birmingham; stepchild Tyler Lapham (John) of Madison; grandchildren Alaena Schulz of Birmingham, Brian Horch and Margaret Horch of New Jersey; and great-grandchild Mila Kenenson of Birmingham.
Visitation will be from 11 to 12 noon on Friday, April 9 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church followed by a funeral Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully accepted by The Knights of Columbus and The American Red Cross.