Former mayor, community activist passes away

BIG RAPIDS — Robert T. Horan, Jr., a former Big Rapids mayor, prominent businessman and community activist died Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Robert T. Horan, Jr., a former Big Rapids mayor, prominent businessman and community activist died Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Horan was mayor of Big Rapids for three terms, from 1968 to 1974. He also was a businessman in the community, owning Triangle Auto Sales. An active member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Horan and his wife, Dolores, also were instrumental in the capital fundraising campaign to build the St. Mary Parish Center. Horan was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Horan has been called “Mr. Big Rapids” by other leading citizens for his contributions to the community. He not only supported activities and events financially, but he gave his time to groups and lent support to many facets of Big Rapids life. Horan was inducted into the Mecosta County Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and was given the Big Rapids High School Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award the same year.

“I felt honored that I would be selected,” Horan said in a 2015 interview with the Pioneer about his induction into the Hall of Fame. “Not on my athletic ability, but for what I have tried to do in supporting recreation over the years. Our family has worked to support athletics in any way for many years. We’ve always supported teams and sponsored them to promote athletics locally.”

In the same interview, he also mentioned his time as mayor.

“When I was mayor, we worked diligently to provide a great park system for the area to promote recreational athletics,” Horan said. “Over the years we have put together new ball fields that would affect the youth of all ages, as well.

“When I look at our city and see what it provides for many groups athletically, I would say we are second to none for a community our size.”

A complete obituary for Horan can be found on page 3A.

 

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