MISSOULA — Joseph C. Horvath passed away peacefully on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. He was 88 years old.
Joseph (Joe) was born May 20, 1929, in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. He was the youngest of five siblings. He attended school in Szekesfehervar and university in Budapest. In 1957, he immigrated to the United States and settled in New Jersey. That same year, he met the love of his life, Julia. They were married Nov 23, 1957, and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
He enrolled at Rutgers University, where he completed his Ph.D. work in economics in 1963. After this, the family moved to Denver, then on to Kansas City, Atlanta and finally to Missoula in 1974, where Joe was employed as a professor at the University of Montana School of Forestry.
Joe was a visionary; he loved to improve things and find solutions for problems. While living in Atlanta, he was a professor at Georgia State University, where he guided graduate work on developing techniques for solid waste composting. Later, after leaving the UM School of Forestry, he embarked on a pioneer journey of developing solid waste composting facilities when the technology was in its infancy.
He enjoyed time with his grandchildren and family, and was an avid reader and writer. During his working career, Joe wrote over 100 publications. Joe had a love for geography and history, and he was a student of the Bible. His faith was very real to him; his relationship with Jesus Christ was personal, and he loved to discuss the Bible with others.
Joe was preceded in death by parents George and Kathryn, and siblings Margaret, Charles, Iren, and Teri. He is survived by his wife Julia; sons George (Kim) and Joe (Konni); grandchildren Matthew (Tegan), Hannah, Naomi (Jordan), Sarah, Gabriella, Julianna, David and Josiah; and great-grandchildren William and Grace.
The family would like to thank the staff at Hillside Health and Rehabilitation for the quality of care and support that they provided Joe during this past year.
A memorial service will be held at Christian Life Center in Missoula, on Friday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m.