Gerald "Ray" Horne, "Living Legend of Northside High School" died January 4, 2014 at the age of 77. His lifetime of contributions to the Georgia Theatre Conference community, indeed, to theatre in general, are apparent in the lives of those he touched and served while he was with us.
Ray graduated from Georgia Teachers College in Statesboro in 1960. Three years later he arrived at the brand new Northside High School where he taught Speech and Drama for the next thirty-five years, then worked part-time and volunteered with the program for another fifteen. For literally half-a-century, he was the face of the Northside High School Theatre, which became the most award-winning theatre program in Georgia.
Ray was a dedicated teacher who introduced thousands of students to drama and the fine arts, and inspired thousands more through his service as a play respondent and individual events adjudicator for state and regional conventions across the United States. He was honored with Hall of Fame membership in Georgia Thespians, Mississippi Thespians, Arkansas Thespians, the International Thespian Society, and the Georgia Theatre Conference. He was recognied with the coveted Suzanne Davis Award by the Southeastern Theatre Conference in 1991. He was the former State Chapter Director for Georgia Thespians, and a past president of the Georgia Theatre Conference, remaining active on both boards until his health prevented him from doing so. Back home in Warner Robins, he was twice selected as Star Teacher, and was inducted into the Houston County Teacher Hall of Fame.
Ray was in good spirits when we last saw him at the August, 2013 Board of Directors meeting in Kingsland, but became seriously ill shortly thereafter and, for the first time in perhaps 40 years, was unable to attend the fall convention. Hundreds gathered at the Ray Horne Theatre for the Performing Arts on the Northside campus in Warner Robins on January 12 for a celebration of his life.
We missed him - and the hole he left is likely to remain void for some time. For more information about Ray's life, visit http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/macon/obituary.aspx?pid=168945071. An article about his memorial service can be found at http://www.macon.com/2014/01/12/2875856/hundreds-pay-final-respects-to.html