Cover photo for Shelagh Story Hornung's Obituary
Shelagh Story Hornung Profile Photo
1946 Shelagh 2023

Shelagh Story Hornung

March 2, 1946 — January 14, 2023

On the morning of January 14, 2023, Shelagh Story Hornung, beloved wife and mother, passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 76.


Shelagh was preceded in death by her father, Lute C. Story and mother, Ann (Ponikvar), and youngest son, Patrick. She is survived by her husband Hil Hornung, daughter Katie Quesada (Matthew), son Michael (Linda), and daughter Laura Cooper. She has two granddaughters, Paige Jones and Molly Cooper, and one great grandson, Jerome San Pedro. She is survived by her brother Neil Story (Tammy), and nieces Rebecca Story, Rachel Story, and Sarah Goad.


Shelagh attended high school at Beaumont School for Girls in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She received a bachelor’s degree from Ursuline College and graduated in 1968.


At ten years old Shelagh wrote in her diary that she was unimpressed by the neighbor boy, Hil Hornung, three years her senior and a friend of her brother. Shelagh walked with the boys to school each day.


On New Year’s Eve in 1967, Shelagh and Hil went on a second date with several couples. 1968 was a leap year, and one of the young women in their party suggested that the girls should propose to their dates for a bit of silly New Year’s fun. The following day while Hil and Shelagh’s families were gathered together for dinner, Hil stood up clinking his glass and announced that he and Shelagh were engaged! They were married 54 years.


Hil and Shelagh married in Cleveland, Ohio on September 21, 1968, at St. Louis Catholic Church. Their adventures took them from Ohio to Florida, to Colorado and California, and finally Washington state, where they settled on Bainbridge Island with their children and pets.


Shelagh worked for the phone company as a young woman, served as the editor of the Mountain News in Lake Arrowhead, CA, worked for several Bainbridge Island businesses in the 1980s, and was executive assistant to the Mayor of Bainbridge Island in the 1990s. Shelagh retired after 17 years at Starbucks corporate headquarters in Seattle.


Shelagh was known for her red hair, piercing blue eyes, and trilling laugh. She lived life on her own terms and was unapologetically herself. She fiercely loved and protected her family. She lived to yell embarrassing encouragements at her children’s sporting events, and had zero pitch but sang like no one was watching. She loved her Jeep CJ7 with custom bumper that read, Genuine Tonka Toy. Her kids could do no wrong, EVER. She swore like a sailor but her signature swear was, “Borscht.” She bit her tongue when she concentrated, massacred movie titles, shouted to cows on road trips, and couldn’t pronounce cinnamon without causing her children to burst into hysterics.


Shelagh was creative and the queen of DIY long before it was cool to be. With themed birthday celebrations, impromptu un-birthday parties, detailed snowman cupcakes, or the best hand sewn Halloween costumes, she made things magical. She drew portraits with pastels, soldered beautiful stained-glass pieces, and gifted each family member with numerous handcrafted needlepoints. She made her son-in-law a custom R2-D2 trash can. Her favorite saying was, “It is what it is, and it ain’t what it ain’t”. She loved being at home in her “bubble” with our father, whom she adored.


A funeral mass will be held on Friday, February 10 at 11:00 AM at Saint Cecilia’s Church –1310 Madison Ave N, Bainbridge Island, WA. There will be a reception at the church directly following the service.


In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in memory of Shelagh, to Helpline House on Bainbridge Island, at: www.helplinehouse.org


Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shelagh Story Hornung, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, February 10, 2023

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