Martha Horne, the wife of former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, died Friday, April 12, 2019 after a bout with pneumonia.
Martha was 77 years old and died around 12:30 p.m. due to complications from pneumonia, which she had been battling for the past month.
Martha and Tom were married for 47 years. Her funeral will be held on April 22 at 5 p.m. at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church at 11001 N 40th St. in Phoenix.
Martha graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and got her master's degree at The Juilliard School, where she played the harp. She was a favorite student of Marcel Grandjany, a famous French-American harpist and composer.
Martha was in the Juilliard orchestra when the other harpist called in sick one day. She then put a musical stand on each side of her harp and played both parts. Once the piece was finished, the conductor said, "Ladies and gentlemen, that is a real musician."
Martha decided to stay at home and help raise their five children — one of whom named Sarah had Down syndrome, and died at age three. "That was not withstanding my entreaties to her to go back to the harp after the kids started getting older," Horne said. "But she just totally devoted herself to the family."
Horne attributed the success of their sons and daughters — David, Mark, Susan, and Mary — to the love she gave them as they grew up. She shared warmth with everyone she came across, he said.
"People who knew her — whether they knew her well or just acquaintances — they all described her as the kindest, gentlest, sweetest person they ever met," Horne said. "She was utterly selfless and kind to everybody, no matter what their station (was) in life."
Horne said he met Martha at a party hosted by a mutual friend. Horne, who is also a classical pianist, had told his friends he wanted to marry another musician and to help connect him with one. Martha turned out to be the one.
The Hornes were both active in the Paradise Valley Unified School District in northeast Phoenix, where their children drew up, and were both strong proponents of the arts.
Proceeds from the Martha Horne Memorial Music Scholarship Fund will benefit scholarships to students who are studying music.