Alan Robert Horvath (1952-2010)

Remembrances by Family, Friends & Associates


Tessa Lowell

    Alan was a good friend of James, always remembered him with flowers on his birthday and anniversary.  He then became my good friend, and since, his wife Kathy has taken over.

Thank you Alan.

Tessa Lowell

Bob & Mary Kirkpatrick

    While some people thought Alan a little gruff at first, those who really knew him found that he had a tender, loving heart.  His love for his wife, Kathy was very evident.  His love for the simple poetry he wrote and published as well as his intelligence in work and living was rewarded.  Old cars, some retained for years demonstrated his frugality.  He was friendly with those who enjoyed his depth of knowledge in new technology, in music and in film.

    Alan was often asked by his company to travel to rural locations while inspecting the installation of new electrical equipment in various natural gas pipeline compressor stations.  He was trusted.  While away, it is reported that he called Kathy every night to convey how things were going and his love for her.  He cared.

    Mary will miss him and his follow through on the things he loved.  His memory will last because of the dedication and support he demonstrated during his brief lifetime to the things and people he enjoyed.

Bob and Mary Kirkpatrick

(Alan’s father in law and his wife Mary)

Allison Engel

    Although we met when we both lived in California, Alan (who became my brother-in-law) and I shared a geographic tie: We both grew up in the Cleveland area at the same time.

    We bonded over memories of the Euclid Beach amusement park, the subversive late night live television antics of Ernie Anderson (aka “Ghoulardi”), the city’s ethnic riches and other touchstones.

    Alan had the most catholic of interests, and could always be counted on for astute recommendations in music, film and books. Pair that with his encyclopedic memory, and he was a one-man Wikipedia on cultural icons.

    Although Alan was technologically adept, I think he would have done very well living in an earlier time when craftspeople lived above their stores. I say this because he loved to be surrounded by his work. His writing and his artwork were not hobbies to be relegated to an attic or basement. At home, his publishing career was center stage. Walking into his dining room and seeing stacks of broadside covers and stacks of poetry waiting to be collated, you understood how much of himself Alan invested in this work.

    As his illness forced him to spend more time indoors, it was gratifying that his digital circle of friends and colleagues was able to remain a vital force in his life. Through this memorial site, his work and his words will live on.

Allison Engel

Linda and Bob Enberg

    As sister and brother-in-law of Kathy, Alan’s wife, we would like to add to Alan’s tribute.  Alan and Kathy were married for twenty-four years, and there was no doubt that Alan loved Kathy dearly. For a few years,  Alan worked out in the field inspecting pipelines for PG&E, and at times was gone for weeks at a time.   Staying connected was difficult under such circumstances.  We will never forget visiting Kathy during one of those times and seeing the stack of greeting cards that Alan had sent her almost daily. Each one was funny and/or loving, showing his great sense of humor and devotion to Kathy.

    We have always been impressed with Alan’s keen mind and ability to participate in engaging in discussions. His memory of facts was phenomenal, as evidenced by his winning first place in the trivia contest on a Carnival cruise with the entire family. Our son Michael was Alan’s young partner, and Mike remembers how impressed he was with Uncle Alan, who seemed to know everything.

    Alan left us too soon in life, but he leaves us his legacy, and he lives on in our memories. Alan was a gentle soul with a twinkle in his eye.  He loved our sister and made her happy. We will all miss him dearly. At our family memorial service held recently I read this poem, which we suspect expresses Alan’s thoughts.

To Those I Love

If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the silent way,
Grieve not,
Nor speak of me with tears,
But laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there.

And when you hear a song
Or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me be sad
For I am loving you just as I always have
You were so good to me!

There are so many things I wanted still to do

So many things to say to you
Remember that I did not fear
It was just leaving you that was so hard to face

We cannot see beyond
But this I know;
I love you so
‘twas heaven here with you!

Isla Richardson

Linda and Bob Enberg

Mark Solars

    al horvath was my friend.  i once said to him, "al, you are the only friend i ever had that i never took a road trip with." 


    he replied, "i thought i was the road."


    yes, he was the road.  it was a metaphor. 


    after 33 years the history is kind of fuzzy.  i think i saw a flier tacked to a kent, ohio, wall about al wanting poetry submissions.  i sent him a copy of lemurian sunstroke, a book of poetry i wrote in one night.  somehow we got together and participated in a poetry reading at bobby mcgee's in cleveland.  al had long, black hair and an equally dark beard.  he and poet dave pishnery took me to al's lakewood apartment where i saw his mimeo machine.  some people have furniture.  al had a printing press.  maybe two or three.  i can't recall.  the apartment was dark and there was a lot of smoke.  i submitted a poem to al entitled "traveldaddy in the buddhayard."  it was a poem about my car, motorcycle, hitchhiking, and hopping boxcars across north america in the 1960s and early 1970s.  after that he kept publishing my work, for which i was forever grateful.  he appeared at my parents' door late one night on the eve of my wedding in 1977.  he delivered a poem for our nuptials and apologized for not being able to attend the wedding.  i still have that poem and everything else he ever sent me.  there were d.a.levy, t.l. kryss, and bukowski books.  the burnt river primers.  there were bootleg cds of our favorite concerts.  there were letters and postcards.  near the end, he sent letters with pictures of the medical procedures performed to keep him alive.  there always seemed to be a dark humor and a prediction about his oncoming death proclaiming it as if it were a new year's resolution.  on a september day, i received a letter from his wife kathy.  it was to inform me that alan had passed away.  there are no more letters or postcards.  no more pictures, his poems, or words of encouragement.  what can i say?  i miss him.             

mark solars

Frank Francek

    I met Alan through work in our San Francisco office approximately 30 years ago.  We worked on several "field assignments" in Idaho, Oregon and Washington and quickly became friends. We both enjoyed football, especially the San Francisco 49'ers, and often bet on football games together.


    After I retired 16 years ago, Alan and I continued our friendship with weekly telephone calls (often talking for hours!)  I still find myself picking up the phone to call Alan - I truly miss our weekly talks.


    On a few occasions Alan & Kathy visited us in our home in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  We also met the Horvath's a few  times in Reno for a week-end.


    Alan was a good friend ‒ like a brother to me.  I miss him!


Frank Francek

John Martin

    I first met Alan in April or May of 1998 when both of us were transferred into the planning department of the gas pipeline company where we worked. Neither of us had worked in planning before and, to be honest, didn’t have a clue about what we were supposed to be doing. In retrospect, it was a good way to begin our professional relationship and our friendship because we began as equals…each with a blank slate.

    Alan’s career with the company up until that time had been out in the field working on projects along the gas pipeline in Idaho’s Panhandle, the Palouse region of Eastern Washington and in the high desert of Central Oregon. He would often talk with fondness about his various field experiences…including travelling back and forth from his home in the Bay Area, and living in motel rooms in rural towns. I’m sure that it was quite an adjustment for him to go from that transient type of job to being an eight to five desk jockey in the corporate office.

    It was great getting to know Alan and to discover our shared interests. I found out that his musical interests were similar to mine. We talked a lot about musicians such as Dylan, Van Morrison, and the like and we went to a least one Richard Thompson concert together at the infamous Aladdin Theater in Southeast Portland.

    Our first year together in planning was a time of transition for the two of us as we learned our new jobs via on-the-job training. We also said farewell to many fellow employees and friends who were leaving the company due to various downsizing events. Then we were booted out of our swanky riverfront offices by Enron Broadband (yes, that Enron) who exercised an option in their lease to take all of our building’s office space if and when they deemed it necessary.

    I have several early memories of Alan. First, Alan went on a trip with his wife Kathy to visit her hometown in the Midwest near the Mississippi River. He would later speak with affection about this adventure into family stomping grounds. I also recall a dinner at the Horvath’s home one evening and Alan really hitting it off with my stepson, Sean, who was in his early 20s at the time. Sean was totally impressed by Alan’s sitar and other instruments.

    Alan also became somewhat obsessed with the reality TV show “Survivor” when it first aired back in 2000. His interest in the show encouraged me to give it a look-see, which I did. This led to me developing my own obsession with the show which I shared with family and friends for the next four or five years.

    It turns out that Alan had a hidden trait that my boss, Joe, and I really came to rely on. He had a phenomenal memory. It was like a steel trap. Once it locked onto something it never let it go. When Joe and I were at a loss to find an old document or file that was needed for a study that we were working on, we would search in vain until we got frustrated and then we would humbly ask Alan for his help. He would look up from what he was doing and say, “Oh, that’s in the second drawer of the file cabinet marked such-and-such in the engineering library. I think that it’s in a folder marked so-and-so.” We’d go there and look and, sure enough, it was just where he had said.

    Another strength that Alan had was his meticulous attention to detail. If he needed to use an old study as the basis for a new one, he would go over that study line by line, making sure that there were no errors. He would highlight and underline all of what he considered to be pertinent and would make comments in the margins with lines and arrows to the important sections. And, sure enough, he would almost always find critical errors in the old study that would have to be corrected before he could use it. Needless to say, I didn’t want Alan to build off of any of my studies for fear that he would uncover my own errors and mistakes.

    Alan was the leader of our office’s annual United Way fund-raising campaign for a year or two. One way that the United Way committee raised funds was by selling raffle tickets with the winner of the raffle winning a nice prize. One year during Alan’s leadership the prize was a Ford Explorer that had been used by field operations. Wouldn’t you know that the winner of the raffle that year was Mr. Alan Horvath himself. Yes, he received considerable grief for being the leader of the fund-raising campaign and “just happening” to purchase the winning ticket.

    Alan eventually went out on long-term disability when his health deteriorated to the point that he couldn’t work anymore. The company kept his position open for almost two years in hopes that he would get better and return to his job. Although Alan was no longer part of the action at the office, he liked to be kept appraised of what was going on. I’m happy to have been able to share lunch with him at Rose’s Deli in Vancouver several times since he left on LTD. Each time he amazed me with his positive, upbeat attitude on life. He knew way too much about medical procedures than any non-doctor has a right to know, but he never seemed to let his health problems get him down.

    After he died in September 2010, one of my coworkers told me “One thing that must be said about Alan is that he was an interesting person.” That is a great compliment and so true.

John Martin

Marvin Sackner

    I’m afraid that I could not add anything substantive to your online memorial except warm, grateful feelings for keeping the memory of d.a.levy alive by reprinting his works for admirers like me and for others who have not yet experienced levy’s genius.

Marvin Sackner

John Bennett

    . . . What I have is a strong impression (not just from what he said, but from what he did) of a man of deep integrity who threw his support without fanfare behind many a  poet.  He did the same for me, based on what he perceived to be the merit of  my writing.  He never angled for position, never looked for what he could gain personally.

    This serious, down-to-it quality is the mark of many a Cleveland poet with roots  in the Sixties, early Seventies.  My respect for this crew is deep and strong.

John Bennett