In 1940, Clarence Hortenstine finished his degree at Emory & Henry, but not without some difficulty.
He had all credits complete except for a credit in Bible. The class had conflicted with a physics course.
It cost him $25 extra, money that he didn’t have at the time.
The story and the frustration are still fresh in great detail in his memory.
Nevertheless, Dr. Hortenstine is willing to put that frustration aside and come to his college this weekend to celebrate during Homecoming the 70th anniversary of his graduation.
Hortenstine is a retired radiologist now living in Killen, Ala. He made it to Alabama by way of Japan. Actually, he lived in as many as 13 different as a member of the Navy Air Corps after leaving Emory & Henry. He learned to fly, and then he had to learn to move – to New York, California, Oregon, Washington DC, Japan and other places far from Abingdon.
During World War II, he flew missions to the Pacific Islands and the Philippines. After the war, he flew commercially for American Airlines.
Eventually he decided "it was time to do something else." So he went to medical school and became a radiologist. Because radiologists were needed in Alabama, that is where he ended up.
He met his wife, a Canadian,in New York. He thought she was "the most beautiful girl" he'd ever seen. "It wasn't long before she had her hooks in me!"
They raised four talented children, one of whom is in finance and three of whom are medical doctors. And now they try to keep up with the stories of 13 busy and talented grandchildren.
"My wife is my social secretary and she keeps up with them. She also spends money on them. I'm a bit of a cheapskate."
Twenty-five dollars, four accomplished children, 13 grandchildren, and 70 years later, Dr. Clarence Hortenstine is still an amazingly interesting man to know. Keep an eye out for him at Homecoming.