Anthony Horka, 87, fiscal director for Baltimore Archdiocese, art lover

July 28, 2002|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

Anthony Leon Horka, a retired director of fiscal management and services for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, died of heart failure Tuesday at Keswick Multi-Care Center in Roland Park. He was 87.

A resident of Northwood since 1953, Mr. Horka was born in Baltimore and grew up in Curtis Bay.

He was a graduate of St. Charles Seminary in Catonsville and attended Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he earned a certificate to teach voice in 1938. He directed a number of church choirs in greater Baltimore.

"He loved teaching and he loved voice," said his daughter, Mary T. Horka. "He wanted to be a conductor - that was his dream."

It was through his conducting duties that Mr. Horka became acquainted with a singer by the name of Mary Sondey. They married in 1942.

Mr. Horka served in the Army during World War II and taught illiterate inductees in the Fifth Service Command at Fort Benjamin Harrison and Camp Atterbury, Ind.

After the war, he graduated cum laude from Loyola College with a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1950.

From 1950 to 1960, Mr. Horka supervised the Baltimore and Washington offices of Postal Bookkeeping and Tax Services.

His 24-year career at the Archdiocese of Baltimore began in 1960 when he became business manager of The Catholic Review. Mr. Horka went on to become head of the archdiocese's central accounting office in 1966, comptroller of the division of fiscal services in 1976 and director of the division of fiscal services in 1981.

Upon his retirement in 1984, Mr. Horka enjoyed listening to classical music and opera and caring for stray animals. He loved collecting antiques and rugs and filled the walls of his home with paintings purchased at auctions and on Antique Row.

"He filled up every wall" with paintings, his daughter said. "My friends said once they thought they were at Haussner's."

Mr. Horka served on the board of trustees of New Cathedral Cemetery and was a member of the International Hajji Baba Society, a Washington-based group of antique rug collectors.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Friday at St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church in Loch Raven, where Mr. Horka had been a member since 1953. The Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Joseph Muth, pastor of St. Matthew's, who knew Mr. Horka, and was attended by retired Archbishop William D. Borders.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Horka is survived by a son, Anthony M. Horka of Leesburg, Va.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthritis Foundation, 1777 Reisterstown Road, Suite 150, Baltimore 21208.

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