Lorelei I. Horan 1938-2022
Lorelei Horan, a devout traditional Catholic and recent resident of Leisure World Seal Beach, passed away in her home with several of her children at her side on Nov. 30.
Lorelei was born in Denver, Colorado. She is predeceased by three of her five siblings, and is survived by her brother John Evans (Karen Evans) and sister Michelle Smith.
She is also survived by her children, Michael Horan (Kimberly Horan), Mary Chris Horan, Lori Horan Soule (Duncan Soule), Briana Harrison (Mark Harrison), Theresa Horan, John Horan (Tonya Horan) and James Horan (David Clarke). Her grandchildren: Meghan Amen (Andy Amen), Shawna Montelongo (Loren Montelongo), Brielle Novy (Jesse Novy), Michael Horan, Jr., William Harrison, Miles Ybaben, Shane Horan (Kylie Horan), Hayden Horan and Fallyn Horan. Her great-grandchildren: Adalynn Amen and Emily Montelongo.
As a child, Lorelei lost her mother at age 4 and the family began moving around the country from that time on, staying briefly in states such as New Mexico and Oregon until they settled in the Compton, California, area and later Anaheim. She was raised by her paternal grandmother and later a stepmother who gave her three more siblings. She had another great tragedy when she was about 10 and her big brother, Billy (12), drowned at Lake Arrowhead, California.
She attended Anaheim High School. She met her first husband, John Horan, and married him in 1958 when she was 20 years old. They had seven children together before they divorced when the youngest was a 1-year-old. Despite not having job history, an education or any savings, she kept the family together through devastating financial problems.
From this groundwork, she raised the children, started college, and then began working at Yamaha. It was at Yamaha that she worked her way out of the secretary pool and got on an engineering track. This kind of work allowed her to expand to aerospace and defense contracts, and her work-life culminated with working as a job shopper doing computer-aided design work all over the country and in parts of Canada. She and her second husband, Martin Brux, lived in a motorhome during these years, where she was able to explore while traveling, all before the word “workcation” was coined or that lifestyle was fully mainstream.
Always an adventurous spirit, Lorelei loved adventure and travel. She was always the first person to say “yes” to any escapade or chance to explore something new. She has traveled to Peru, Australia, Spain, Mexico, and the United Kingdom several times. It was her great pleasure to take her entire family on a cruise to celebrate her 80th birthday where the family visited the Cayman Islands, Belize, Honduras and Cozumel. Lorelei had written a book comprised of a collection of her letters while traveling and proudly offered this to her family earlier this year when she turned 84. It is titled “Courage to Travel.”
Lorelei continued traveling in retirement, but also developed her skills as a master quilter. She had been sewing since she was a girl—starting out by sewing doll clothes for herself and other children in the neighborhood, and graduating to sewing baby clothes. She left many examples of her quilting art as she gave these away freely as gifts.
Lorelei was a remarkable woman. She was raised by an actual pioneer woman (literally, her grandmother was a woman who came across the prairie in a schooner) but managed to shatter the glass ceiling during the time before the Women’s Movement.