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Metro hospital helps honor employee slain last year

Kyla Smith
The Detroit News

While most families are busy preparing for the holidays, Cedric Horn’s family and friends reflect on his life and the impact he made.

“There were so many great things that he did for others that we didn’t even know that he did, until after he died,” said Terry Horn of Detroit. “He was someone I looked up to and held in very high esteem.”

Cedric Horn was fatally shot last December while driving on Interstate 94. The gunshot was believed to be connected with a road rage incident, according to Michigan State Police.

To honor the Roseville man’s life, employees at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital hosted a tree lighting and ornament sale Thursday to help keep his memory alive.

Employees and family members bought ornaments that could be personalized for $2 to benefit the Patient Medical Needs Fund. Proceeds help cover medical costs for patients in need.

Horn worked in the hospital’s supply department.

“I would always look forward to seeing his smile when he came in,” said Rhonda Hazey, Horn’s former boss and director of the supply department. “Everyone loved him. It was so devastating when we lost him and it still bothers us to this day.”

State police haven’t found his killer, but Shawn Lee of Detroit, Horn’s oldest son, wants everyone to remember his life and not the way he died.

“We are working actively with the police, but we want to make a point to concentrate on his memory and the positive outlook that he had on life,” Lee said. “He had this unique ability to get along with everyone. He was friendly and a very strong-willed man.”

Denise Brooks-Williams, president and CEO of Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, decided to dedicate the tree-lighting ceremony in Horn’s honor.

“We work at a place where we see the transition of life and death every day, but it was so tragic and sudden the way that we lost Cedric before Christmas,” Brooks-Williams said. “The tree lighting and the ornament sale is a great manifestation of what the holidays are about.”

Horn had six brothers and one sister, three children and three grandchildren. Leonard Horn of Detroit, the youngest child, spoke vividly about their family holiday traditions — and his eyes began to water.

“Since the ’70s, we would always barbeque a turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas. He was always so fun to be around,” Leonard Horn said. “He taught us grammar and we would even have our own word fun games. He was just an awesome person.”

Derrick Jackson, Horn’s nephew, was amazed his former co-workers took time to honor his uncle.

“I’m so humbled and grateful that Henry Ford has recognized my uncle and shown our family so much love during this difficult time,” Jackson said. “It’s comforting to know that he was so loved and that his legacy will continue.”

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