Michael Lee “Mike” Hora

Photo of Michael Lee “Mike” Hora

Michael Lee “Mike” Hora


     Michael (Mike) Lee Hora; Poppa, brother, uncle, friend, was born on February 22, 1956 in Greeley, CO to Sadao (Sud) and Shirley.  He left us on December 23, 2023, with his loved ones by his side after a heroic battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Mike resided in Leola, PA at the time of his death.

     Mike grew up in Kersey, CO and graduated from Platte Valley Jr. Sr. High in 1974 where he played football, baseball, and wrestled. His mom became a lifelong baseball fan after attending all of his HS and summer league games.  Mike attended UNC and CSU for two years, then left to work full-time at Longmont Foods where he managed a turkey farm near Kersey. Mike married Thea Hunteman in 1976 and became the proud Poppa to Joshua and Jacob.  Mike and Thea raised the boys on the farm, and when Mike promoted to region manager they moved into town. 

     Mike moved to Greeley and married Karen Smith in 1992. He left Longmont Foods in 1995 and joined RR Donnelly, a printing company, in Greeley where he rose to Quality Control Manager. This work took Karen and Mike to Florida where he enjoyed getting the resident annual pass to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Donnelly transferred Mike to PA where Mike reconnected with and enjoyed spending time with George and Martha Lefever, going to their annual corn roast. With the print industry on the decline, Mike worked at Target from 2005 to 2012 as the Price Accuracy Checker.  Deb Diaz came into his life during this time and was with Mike until 2017. 

     Mike is an inspiration to many, not only fighting the good fight against Pulmonary Fibrosis, he started losing his eyesight and was declared legally blind in 2011, which led him to VisionCorps in Lancaster. He loved the work and the people there, and continued working until his health didn’t allow it. He met Ann Dux and Steve Ransing, his two best friends, there and the three of them were quite the team. Mike advocated for the blind, making trips to Washington, D.C. to tell his and others’ stories to congressmen and senators.  He also raised money for VisionCorps by participating twice in The Eye Drop, rappelling 12 stories off the Lancaster Holiday Inn.

     Mike fought Pulmonary Fibrosis, doing all he could to stay in shape and explore options.  He went through six months of tests to qualify for a lung transplant. We celebrated that wonderful day he was put on the transplant list and awaited the call that would change his life.  Unfortunately, that call didn’t come.  Instead, with a doctor at his side on November 29, Mike called his closest to tell us he would be on a ventilator, unable to talk for a couple of days, and that he loved us.  He fought for 25 days, finally succumbing to this dreadful disease. To all his transplant team, especially Doctor Namrata B. Patel, a heartfelt thank you from the family for truly caring and for giving us hope.  Sometimes we just are not in control.

     Mike enjoyed life. While in Colorado, he loved fishing and hunting with his good buddies Larry Scott and John Christman. Mike and Thea, along with either his brother-in-law, LeRoy or brother, Myron, would meet Auntie Aiko and cousin Bruce at Mile High Stadium for 10 seasons to cheer on the Broncos.  He got to watch the Broncos in two Super Bowls (those were the days!) and went to the first regular season Rockies game at Coors Field.  Always one to help, he took in his niece Stacie and they lived together for two years eating KFC and Mexican food.  Here in PA, Mike and Josh learned how to catch warm water fish, spending days on their boat reeling in whatever was running that time of year. More recently, Steve and Mike could be found having breakfast at a local diner before hitting the auction and yard sale circuit.  And he and Ann hardly ever missed a Sunday afternoon matinee, going when Mike’s snoring didn’t disturb too many. If they weren’t at the movies, Ann drove Mike around Lancaster County until he heartily complained he couldn’t take anymore. Mike spent hours Facetiming with daughter-in-law, Sarah and his grands, Maggie and Jacob Jr. in CO, listening to tales of their day.

     Mike is survived by his sons, Josh of Leola and Jacob (Sarah) of Kersey, CO; sister, Barbara (Leroy) Brum of Gilcrest CO; brothers, Myron (Colleen) and Ronald (Tommi) of Greeley CO; 5 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  He also leaves behind six nieces and two nephews, aunts, uncles, and too many cousins to count, his best friends, Ann and Steve, and numerous real-life, authentic friends.  Mike is preceded in death by his parents, grandson, Josh Jr., and many others with whom he is now reunited.   We take solace in knowing Mike can see and run again, and that he is fishing with his Dad and Mom, Uncle Ray and Auntie Aiko, Cousins Bruce, Ray and Ray Jr., Larry Scott and Geo Lefever, and so many others with whom he shared a mutual love.

     In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations to the VisionCorps Eye Drop be made in his memory. https://give.visioncorps.net/event/visioncorps-eye-drop-2024/e516013

     A gathering of family and friends is on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 2:00 pm followed by a Remembrance Hour at 3:00 pm at Furman Home for Funerals in Leola.  A Celebration of Life will be held in Colorado at a date TBD.

     Please join us at 11:00 am, February 17, at the Platte Valley Middle School to remember and celebrate the life of Michael Hora. Mike told his best friend Ann that he wanted a big party in CO and he would finally get to enjoy good Mexican food. To honor his wish a potluck reception will begin immediately after the life celebration until 4:00 pm. For those who don’t make good Mexican food, we’re sure you have your special dishes to share.

     Platte Valley Middle School, 700 Hill Street, Kersey, CO

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