John C. Van Horn, a retired chemical engineer and computer enthusiast, died of kidney failure Thursday at the Vantage House Retirement Community in Columbia. He was 86.
Mr. Van Horn was born and raised in Indianapolis and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from Purdue University - both in 1941.
He served aboard a Navy destroyer in the Pacific during World War II, attaining the rank of lieutenant, then joined Dow Chemical Co. He headed its chemical product development division and later served as president of Dow Quimica Argentina in Buenos Aires.
He left the company in 1966 when he was named president of Ventron Corp.'s Metal Hydrides Division in Beverly, Mass.
In 1974, he moved to Columbia and - until retiring in 1983 - was assistant technical director of the Chemical Manufacturers Association in Washington.
Mr. Van Horn enjoyed working with his computer, and was a member of several computer clubs.
His wife of 58 years, the former Mary Roberts, died in 2003.
No services are planned.
Surviving are two sons, John R. Van Horn of Glenwood and David R. Van Horn of Elmhurst, Ill.; a daughter, Lisa Parran of Lusby; and two grandsons.