Steven “Steve” Moreland Hornberger

** Memorial services for Steve M. Hornberger will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Grace Evangelical Church in Lawrence. Inurnment will follow at Clinton Cemetery in Clinton, Kansas. **

The service will be available online at


Steve Moreland Hornberger, 69, of Lawrence Kansas passed peacefully from this life into life eternal on August 26, 2020 at home with his loving family, after completing a courageous trek with multiple myeloma for the last six years.

Steve was born to Fremont and Louise Hornberger (nee Baldwin) on November 15, 1950. The second born of this hardworking family, Steve enjoyed growing up on a farm in southern Douglas County. He helped his father and brother raise cattle and crops until they moved to town when he was sixteen. He shared stories of going to Union School, a one-room school just south of the farm, and skating on the farm pond. His entire family was active in Worden Workers 4-H, with his personal highlight being winning with his grand champion steer at the Douglas County 4-H Fair.

Sheriff Rex Johnson hired Steve while he was still in high school to work as a dispatcher, thus setting his career path. He finished his bachelor’s degree at KU with an emphasis in political science, and commuted to Warrensburg while working full-time to complete his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Central Missouri. He retired in 2015 after serving 46 years in his chosen profession, including working for the Kansas Attorney General’s office, the Kansas Securities Commission, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; his last position being Undersheriff. He served his country for six years in the Air Force Reserves.

Steve was a role model for many. He was honest, fair, hardworking, and a great listener. He never sought the limelight; rather being the steady rock that kept the organization and his family moving in the right direction. Many have shared the importance of Steve’s leadership in their lives and personal careers. Recently, he enjoyed serving as an advisor to the Valor Selection Board, an organization that recognizes and honors our area first responders.

On October 19, 1980 Steve married Cindy and started a wonderful life full of love, travel, and friendship. They met in the Emergency Department where Cindy worked as a nurse. Soon after they got married their house was blown away by a tornado and they quickly learned what was most important in life. They are blessed with two sons, Ryan and Jeff and their wonderful daughter-in-law Jen. Having been baptized as a child, Steve rediscovered his faith as a young father and joined Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church, where he and Cindy have attended for the last nearly 30 years. His best friends then and now are the families of Stratford Court, where he and Cindy raised their sons.

Steve leaves behind his brother Bob (wife Brenda), two nephews Jason (Jean) and Jordan (Robin) and his niece Leslie and their six children Lindsey, Luke, Sydnee, Rylee, Julian and Charlotte. In addition, he leaves Cindy’s large family who he enjoyed immensely, often hosting family gatherings for holidays and special occasions. Family was the most important thing for him, and he dedicated his time to helping his sons grow up to be kind, hardworking men. He was a steadying force with the famous phrase, “Either it will or it won’t”, understanding worrying about things isn’t always helpful and the importance of trusting God. Together the family traveled the world with Steve eventually visiting nearly 25 countries. Besides his love of travel, he enjoyed reading, staying current in politics, and hiking. His favorite hikes were walking on the Great Wall of China, and backpacking with his oldest son to Hole-in-the-Wall campground in Glacier National Park. To him, the outdoors was a manifestation of God’s glory.

Steve expressed at the end of his life his gratitude for the wonderful staff at LMH Oncology Center and specifically Dr. Sharon Soule, who provided expert and compassionate care. The nurses and staff at the Oncology Center were exceptional and will long be remembered. Thanks too to Dr. Gerald Pees for being his longtime primary care physician and friend.

Because of current health concerns, a service will be held next year when we can celebrate Steve’s life. Memorials will be accepted for the Douglas County 4-H Foundation, an organization long supported by the Hornberger family. Memorials may be sent in care of Warren McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.

28 Condolences

  1. Karen Ashley on August 27, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    So blessed to have Steve as my brother-in-law. He certainly taught me a lot about gratefulness, doing the right thing and working hard. Thank you Steve.

  2. Steven Cramer on August 27, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Steve Hornberger has long been one of a few men that I consider the great role models of my life. His life‘s story will continue to be a guide for mine.

  3. Judy Soule on August 27, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    My condolences to Cindy and all of Steve’s family. Although I did not know him personally I know he was a wonderful man and will be missed by so many.

  4. Sarah Preston on August 27, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    The best of men. I love you Uncle Steve. Until we meet again. ❤️

  5. Eric and Judy Smith on August 27, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Cindy, we are thinking of you and all family members during this difficult time. We always enjoyed crossing paths over the years and our visits with Steve.

  6. Michael Fine on August 27, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Cindy and Family,

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Steve was the best, just exemplary. All our best wishes to you.

  7. Janet Grant on August 28, 2020 at 9:34 am

    I am so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. I hadn’t seen him in years, but his whole family was near and dear to me was we grew up together. We were members of Worden Worker 4-H Club. His dear mother was my cooking leader. We played softball in grade school. Steve attended Union and I attended Willow Springs.
    My thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and their sons and families. A special hello to his brother, Bob. I send my deepest condolences.
    Earth has lost a good man, but what a glorious reunion happened in Heaven!! God bless you all.
    Janet Churchbaugh Grant

  8. Sashi Lauridsen on August 28, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I love you with everything in me uncle Steve, you were such an amazing man and always there. I can’t wrap my mind around you being gone and I’m not ready to accept it, but I know God brought you home for a reason..
    you don’t have to deal with any of that pain anymore and can finally be in peace.

  9. John Dobbins on August 28, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    I was greatly saddened to read about Steve’s passing. We went through high school together at LHS and his friendly face will be missed by all who knew him. God’s blessings on the family as you mourn the loss of this fine man.

  10. Kim and Greg Neis on August 28, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Kim and I got to know Steve when Kim was hired as a corrections officer to open the new jail in the Law Enforcement Center. Steve was one of the training officers for the new staff. Steve was very knowledgeable and great instructor during my early years in law enforcement. I know he will be missed by family and friends alike. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  11. DAVE AFFALTER on August 28, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    To Steve’s family I’m so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. HE was a Great guy and a good friend. I remember when I first met him when he came to join us in the O.R. in the FORBES A F B HOSPITAL in the early 70’s and it was great to serve with him in the Operating Room when we O.R Techs… During that time I would catch a ride with him on occasion, and when we were home it was always fun to go down in the evening every now and then to the OLD Sheriffs Office when he was working and chat and catch up… I know he will be missed… DAVE AFFALTER, LAWRENCE

  12. Jean Affalter on August 28, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Cindy: So sorry to hear about Steve. My husband, David was sharing storied about Steve and him. My prayers are with you.
    Jean Stevenson Affalter, Lawrence

  13. Michael Welter on August 28, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    So sorry for your loss Cindy. I had the privilege of working with Steve for a “short” period of time when I worked for Douglas County Ambulance. I always appreciated all the Law enforcement Officers in Douglas County, but Steve was an example of what of good officer is. I am sure he will be missed greatly. I will share your loss with the members of the American Legion here in Paola, of which I am a member. We try to honor all our veterans who has passed by mentioning their name at one of our meetings and observing a moment of silence in their memory.

  14. Jim and Ginny O'Connell on August 28, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    I’m deeply sorry to hear the passing of Steve. Steve was not only a customer but a friend and I will miss our monthly talks while I cut his hair. Such a unique individual!
    Our deepest sympathy to Cindy, Ryan, Jeff and the entire Hornberger family. Steve will forever be missed.

  15. Kim and Bonnie Wells and family on August 29, 2020 at 8:42 am

    We’re so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

  16. Rick and Deb Hird on August 29, 2020 at 9:06 am

    We are so sorry to hear about Steve, please know you are in our prayers.

  17. Stephanie Struble on August 29, 2020 at 9:10 am

    My prayers are with you, Cindy, and the rest of your family. May God wrap his arms around all of you at the difficult time.

  18. Sharon Dwyer on August 29, 2020 at 11:19 am

    I recently visited with Steve in the Lawrence Memorial Hospital parking lot after he had a treatment. He had such a positive attitude about life and was hopeful that a new medicine would help him. I am so thankful for our last conversation. Steve and I go back a long ways, growing up in the same community as kids. Our dads helped each other out with farming tasks. Our mothers were great friends and we often got together for family social time. Steve was destined to be in law enforcement. As kids we often played cowboys near a grove of trees on the farm. Steve’s brother Bob, was the Lone Ranger, I was Annie Oakley and Steve was Marshall Matt Dillon. I am sure we rounded up lots of “bad guys”. Years later Steve became one of my close neighbors again living down the road from our farm. Steve was passing by one day, noticed I was stuck mowing the road ditch, backed up, pulled out a rope and got me back to dry ground. He was a great asset serving as a board member on Rural Water District #5. His honesty, fairness, hardworking attitude and being a great listener were quit evident at our district board meetings. I will always be grateful for his support given to the staff.
    Sympathy to all the family.

  19. Emilia Barbosa on August 29, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Dear Cindy,
    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your husband Steve. My sincerest condolences and hoping you find some solace in the brightest of memories.
    Emilia Barbosa

  20. David Anderson on August 29, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    I had the privilege of working with Steve numerous times in each of his professional positions. His experience and advice was always invaluable. He was respected by all. I will miss my friend and colleague. Thoughts and prayers to his family.

  21. Maryam Hjersted on August 29, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    Dear Cindy, I am so sorry for the tremendous loss of your dear husband. I will hold you in my thoughts. Maryam

  22. Emma Sweeney on August 30, 2020 at 5:41 am

    My condolences to Cindy and the whole family circle. I will never forget the compassion your family showed me, when as a student nurse on elective at Washburn from Ireland, you took me into your home when I was sick to help me get better. Holding you all in my thoughts at this time of loss of Steve.

  23. Bruce Roberts on September 1, 2020 at 7:51 am

    I always enjoyed connecting with Steve over many years. In 1969 he trained me as a dispatcher for the sheriff’s office. He was patient, kind, and full of laughter. We later crossed paths as state employees. He was always a gentleman and he truly led an exemplary life. Peace to you all.

  24. Terri Bysom Stringer on September 1, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Cindy and family – I was saddened to hear about Steve’s passing. He was lucky to have you by his side every step of the way. My heart goes out to all of you.

  25. Fred and Lois Mersmann on September 3, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    We are sorry for your loss.
    May God grant you peace at this difficult time.

  26. Brooke Heavey on September 3, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Steve was an essential mentor and support to my career development. He allowed for my creativity and encouraged my curiosity in my role as a corrections officer in pursuit of my MSW. Steve was a passionate advocate about jail reform and represented the department in a way that made me proud to serve my community. Truly a big loss for the Douglass County community. His dedication and care lives on in those he’s mentored. I am so sorry for your loss.

  27. Tom Murray on May 23, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Steve was a model officer for those in law enforcement and those who aspired to be in law enforcement. If a film director were casting the part of a rock-solid, common-sense law enforcement officer, Steve would have been the paradigm for that role. May he rest in peace.

  28. Jean Shepherd on May 23, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Cindy and family, I’m so very sorry to learn of Steve’s passing. He was such a kind and honorable person and a true model for all law enforcement officers. His word was good, always. I know he continues to be in your lives through both memories and in similarities you see in children and grandchildren. I’m certain his values continue on in them, also.

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