Merry Beth Hornbrook

Merry Elizabeth Trach Hornbrook, 75, of Morgantown, WV passed away in her home on Friday, November 15, 2019, with her loving family by her side after a long, courageous battle with brain cancer.

Merry Beth was born on April 30, 1944, in Fairmont, WV. She was the fourth of six children of the late Dr. John Paul Trach and Opal Keener Trach. She is preceded in death by her parents and older sister, Virginia Anne "Jennianne" Trach Stitt.

She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Dr. Robert H. Hornbrook. Their marriage and devotion to each other was an inspiration to their children, son R. Kent Hornbrook, his wife, Laura and granddaughter Madeline of Pittsburgh, PA and daughter, Sarah Hornbrook Hawkins, her husband David and granddaughters Lauren and Allison of Pittsburgh, PA, two sisters, Julia Welton (Charles) of Elkins, WV, and Marthell "Marty" Hanna of Lake Placid, FL, two brothers, John Paul Trach (Joan) of Camp Hill, PA and James Mark Trach (Cathy) of Fairmont, WV, cousin Julia Read (Robert) of Winchester, VA., cousin Sarah Marks (Gerald) of Sylva, NC and many nieces & nephews.

Merry Beth devoted her life to the care of her family and making a warm and welcoming home for her husband and children. Her greatest pleasure was spending time with her children and beloved granddaughters and entertaining friends and family in her home. She loved growing up in a large family with lots of brothers & sisters, cousins, aunts & uncles, nieces & nephews. Some of her favorite occasions were big family gatherings celebrating milestones and holidays, cooking together and just sitting around the table conversing & reminiscing.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Merry Beth was how respected and admired she was by all who knew her. Many have called Merry Beth their best friend. She was welcoming, thoughtful, loyal, dependable, always quick with a smile or laugh, genuine and encouraged everyone to be themselves. She was a role model for women of many generations. One friend described her as "sunshine and sweetness and so much goodness wrapped up in one little package". She leaves behind a legacy of kindness, grace, and class and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

A graduate of Fairmont Senior High School (Class of 1962), Merry Beth went on to attend West Virginia University where she studied Education. She cherished her collegiate and alumni years in the sisterhood of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, of which she was a member for over 50 years, serving various roles on the house and advisory boards and later participating in Kappa interest groups with friends. She was a member of PEO Chapter P, a sustaining member of the Morgantown Service League and the Valley Hills Garden Club. She was a previous member of First Presbyterian Church of Morgantown, serving as a deacon. She loved "playing bridge" with the same group of friends for over 40 years and girls' weekends with the "Polar Belles", a group of childhood girlfriends from Fairmont. She was an avid reader, crossword puzzle solver and loved gardening and decorating.

The Hornbrook family would like to thank the numerous friends and family who have provided support and especially the caregivers from Morgantown Hospice and Right at Home for their help in caring for Merry Beth.

Friends and family will be received at the Erickson Alumni Center, 1 Alumni Dr, Morgantown, WV 26505, in the Kennedy Club Room on Tuesday, December 3, from 4 pm to 8 pm. Visitation will continue on Wednesday, December 4, from 10 am until the time of the memorial service at 11 am with Chaplain Craig Falkenstine officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Merry Beth's memory to the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, P O Box 9300, Morgantown, WV  26506-9300 and the American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste. 550, Chicago, IL 60631.

Hastings Funeral Home has been entrusted with cremation arrangements. Send condolences online at