December 8, 2008
Rosemary Cross Hornby, alumna with deep roots at Stanford, dies
Rosemary Cross Hornby, an alumna whose loyalty to Stanford spanned many decades after her graduation, died of a heart attack Nov. 17 at the Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley.
Hornby, who worked at Stanford in human resources for more than 20 years and lived on campus until the early 1990s, had just turned 86. She was the granddaughter of Rufus Green, a math professor who joined Stanford's faculty soon after the university's founding.
Hornby graduated from Stanford in 1944 with a bachelor's degree in art. During World War II, she worked briefly for the World Affairs Council, where one of her duties was to help translate American broadcasts into Chinese for the Office of War Information.
In 1950, she married William Hornby, and they traveled to London, Paris and The Hague, where he worked for the Marshall Plan. They divorced in 1958, and she returned to the family home on campus. She began a career in human resources at the university in 1970.
When she retired in 1992, Hornby moved to the Sequoias but remained active in the Stanford community as president of the Stanford Historical Society and later as a board member for Frank Lloyd Wright's Hanna House.
Rufus Green was among the second wave of professors that founding President David Starr Jordan brought to Stanford. On the faculty until the 1920s, Green is remembered for leading relief efforts by volunteers who went to help in San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake.
Hornby is survived by daughters Melinda Barnard of Healdsburg and Megan Hornby of Lake Oswego, Ore., and by two grandsons.
A memorial celebration will be held at the Sequoias from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19. Memorial contributions can be made to the Yosemite Fund (http://www.yosemitefund.org) or the Rosemary Hornby Library Book Fund at Alexander Valley Elementary School, 8511 Highway 128, Healdsburg, CA 95448.