Lea and Irma Hornbeck have been named to the Camas Days Senior Royalty Court. Based on all of the volunteer work they have been involved in throughout their lives, they deserve it.
Lea, born in Portland and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., shipped out to fight in World War II. He then came back to Portland to work at the Pendleton Woolen Mills before he moved to Washougal in the 50s. He continued to work at Pendleton in Washougal for 35 years. And yet he always found time to volunteer in big and small ways.
“We like to keep busy,” Irma, his wife, explained with a laugh.
He is a 50-year member of the Lions Club, a service membership organization which raises money for local high school scholarships and building sites. He has also served two terms as chair of the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Lea has recently volunteered his time at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal. While he used to work at the front desk and as a tour guide, he soon joined the board of directors. He loves the idea of preservation, from all time periods. He even convinced Irma to join him in his work at the museum.
While cribbage started out as a passion of his, he eventually served as a two term board member of the American Cribbage Congress in Portland.
“My first wife and I were aficionados,” said Lea. “It was definitely an outlet for her. So we joined, and I’ve loved playing ever since.”
And Irma has been just as active. Born in Colfax, Wash., she moved to Washougal before Lea. While working the front desk at Pendleton Woolen Mills, she also volunteered her time at the Southwest Washington Medical Center. Delivering flowers and smiles to her patients always made it worthwhile.
Her heart was also into fundraising for the Children’s Home Society. The big event each year was always the extravagant Halloween Haunted House. They would build elaborate sets and sell caramel apples to kids and adults alike.
They both attended, volunteered and joined the Board at the local Alzheimer’s Association support group for eight years.
“That was very rewarding,” said Irma. “We really got involved with the families. It was a rewarding thing because you realized that you’re not alone, that there are people out there in the same situation as you are.”
Both Irma and Lea had been married before, but their spouses passed away within a year of each other. They met more than 40 years ago and have been friends ever since. They have been married for 17 years.