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Harry "Fred" Horstman

May 11, 1930 ~ June 29, 2018 (age 88)

Harry Frederick “Fred” Horstman was born in Sewickley, PA. on May 11, 1930 to Harry F. Horstman and Leona May Christie. He graduated from Coraopolis, PA High School in 1948. He became a competitive shooter and won several trophies in competition with both pistol and rifle. He also learned to fly at the air base nearby and had his pilot license before his drivers license. He was drafted by the Army, serving in Korea as a radio operator during combat from 1952-1955.


He attended Penn State University under the Gl Bill and graduated in 1959 with a BS degree in Recreation and Parks. While at Penn State he married Sheila Hazel Orben in 1958 and they moved to Somerset, PA where he worked at the Somerset State Hospital as a Recreation Therapist. In 1960 they moved to Mifflinburg, PA. and Fred worked at Laurelton State Hospital in the Recreation Department from 1960 to 1977. In 1969 he finished his MS in Recreation from Penn State and continued working at Laurelton State Hospital as the Recreational Director. He worked with interns from Penn State as they finished their studies in Recreation and decided he would love to be teaching in his field.


In 1977 the family moved to Indiana and Fred worked as an Associate Professor of Recreation and Therapy at Indiana State University from 1977—1998. He worked on his doctorate at Indiana University while teaching Reactional Therapy at ISU and graduated with a Doctoral degree in Recreation Education —RED in 1987.


 While working at ISU he enjoyed working with students as they prepared for their careers in Therapeutic Recreation and visited and consulted with them as they worked in Rehabilitation Centers around the state and country during their internship. He developed several different courses to supplement the Recreational Program. He especially enjoyed teaching Rifle Safety, Canoeing and Sailing and developed Puppet Workshop Programs that were given at Vigo County Library. He called Square Dances for many organizations on campus and in the community and the family hosted International Students from Japan, China and Sweden.

Fred was a member of the United Methodist Church and worked in the Outdoor Ministry Program for The South Indiana Methodist Conference after retirement. He and his wife developed Family Camps and Summer Camp for parents and children together. He was a Sunday School Teacher and a Certified Lay Speaker. He served on many committees within the church. After Retirement he joined the Gideons International and enjoyed his work helping distribute Bibles in the area hotels and on University Campus in the state.


Fred is survived by his wife, Sheila and their six children: Michael Horstman, Jeffrey Horstman, Kenneth Horstman, Sheila Ellen Horstman, Peter Horstman and Julie Horstman Watson. Also by twelve grandchildren: Jordan Blanc, Alex Horstman, Heather Horstman Brusalis, Daniel Horstman, Lindsey Watson, Zachery Horstman, Melissa Watson Jacobsen, Sarah Horstman Low, Melina Horstman, Mark Watson, Luke Watson and Lydia Horstman. Also by four great grandchildren: Noah Blanc, Oliver Blanc, Jessica Horstman and Reuben Low.


 He will be remembered for his love of God and His creation, his love and devotion to family, his dry witting sayings and his love of the outdoors. Fred passed away at home with his family around him on June 29, 2018. Memorial services will be held at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church on Friday July 6, 2018 with visitation from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm and Memorial Services at 12:00 pm with Pastor Dennis Ticen officiating. Online condolences may be left at

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