Ruth Kay Harvey Horn, 85

Ruth Kay Harvey Horn, 85, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2023, at Woodlawn Hospital, two weeks shy of her 86th birthday and four months after her beloved husban,  Arnold.


She was born on January 16, 1937, to Clyde and Mary Adeline (Eisert) Harvey near Buffalo, Indiana in White County. Kay always lived on a farm; her parents moved from Royal Center to rural Fulton County when she was a girl. The farm still resides in the family.


Kay graduated from Talma High School in 1955 and went to Ball State Teachers College, where she earned degrees in physical education and English. She was a member of Delta Zeta Sorority and graduated from Ball State in 1959. She went on to earn her Master’s in Education from Ball State in the early 1960s.


When she wasn’t studying in Muncie, Kay worked as a carhop at the Dog n Suds root beer stand in Rochester during the summers and breaks to help pay for college. There Kay met her husband, Arnold, who could be found cruising the root beer stand in his pink convertible, sipping a 25-cent root beer, and generally causing mischief. 


After graduating from Ball State, Kay moved back to Rochester for her first teaching position with Rochester Community Schools. That winter, she and Arnold married on December 27, 1959, at Bethlehem Baptist Church. They eventually had two daughters, Kristy and Beth, and lived most of their lives together on their family farm in Fulton County north of Rochester. This farm is also still in the family. Arnold and Kay were married nearly 63 years.


Kay was the girls’ physical education teacher and volleyball, basketball, and track coach at Rochester Middle School for many years. Known as “Mama Kay,” “Mama Toad,” or just mom, she had the privilege of working with many outstanding student-athletes who went on to impressive high school, college, and career success. She eventually added Reading teacher to her many titles and retired after 41 years in education in 2001.


Kay was an avid quilter and women’s league bowler, active in the Fulton County Retired Teachers Association and in Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional women educator’s society, and a member of Riverview Community Church. When not coaching, refereeing, quilting, or teaching, she could be found volunteering in the community and the local schools. She loved to watch the birds at her bird feeders from her dining room window and had many visitors including finches, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and her favorite, cardinals. Lately she was smitten with spoiling her great granddaughter, Madison.


Kay was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold and her parents. She is survived by her siblings, Karen Danielsen and husband Monty of Spooner, Wisconsin and Gary Harvey and wife Jackie of Mesa, Arizona; her children, Kristy and husband Ian Sheeler of Indianapolis and Beth and husband Myron Cohagan of Rochester; two grandchildren, Abigail and husband Jacob Richard and Evan Cohagan; and a great granddaughter, Madison.


Visitation will be held Tuesday, January 10, from 5:00 -7:00 pm and Wednesday, January 11 at 9:00 am with a celebration of life to follow at 10:00 am at Good Family Funeral Home in Rochester.


Burial will be at Rochester IOOF Cemetery.


Memorials may be made in Kay’s name to Riverview Community Church TeamKids, 3780 State Road 110, Tippecanoe, Indiana.