Memorial Celebration

A Memorial Service thanking God for Rachel and celebrating her life was held Monday, April 1, at Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse University.

NOTE: Recordings of both the Hendricks Chapel as well as the Hillcrest Chapel services are available on the Memorial Services page.

20 Responses to Memorial Celebration

  1. Jannie Horlings-Ladru

    Beste Familie,
    Ik was bevriend met Rachel op faceboek.
    Kende haar niet persoonlijk.
    Ik wil haar man, ouders, familie en vrienden mijn oprechte condeleance aanbieden.
    Rust zacht.
    Jannie Horlings-Ladru

  2. Jannie Horlings-Ladru

    Beste Familie,
    Ik was bevriend met Rachel op faceboek.
    Kende haar verder niet.
    Ik wil mijn oprechte condoleance aanbieden aan haar man, ouders en verdere familie en vrienden.
    Rust zacht.
    Jannie Horlings-Ladru

  3. Hilda Roukema

    Dear Andy and Linda,
    I watched/listened to Rachel’s funeral on the Internet and found it very meaningful. What a full life your daughter leved! You were given much and you have lost much. You are in my daily prayers.
    Hilda Roukema

  4. David Quint

    To my friend Al, his and Rachel’s family , I am so very sorry for your loss. I first met Rachel when Al introduced us which I at the moment I can’t remember when but it was at SU. I do remember some time after that first introduction seeing Rachel as I walked down Euclid street on a summers evening from campus. She remembered me and we had a very nice chat as we both walked down Euclid. She asked me about my research and was genuinely interested in what I had to say. I think the most sticking thing that I remember from that moment about Rachel was her kindness and openness to me as a person. Talking with her that day left the impression on my that she was a unique and beautiful person and this is how I will remember her.

  5. Margaret Fernandes

    Dear Al and Mr. & Mrs. Horlings and family,
    I was shocked and saddened to hear about Rachel’s sudden passing. I will always remember Rachel’s smile, even when she walked into the Anthropology Dept. office with crutches and a cast on her leg and in a lot of pain. She will have a special place in my heart as if she were my daughter. We always hugged each other whenever she came in.
    I still remember very vividly how happy she and Al were floating away in that hot-air balloon on their wedding day.
    Please know that I share in your loss of such an accomplished and beautiful young lady. My prayers for you, may the Lord give you courage and strength to endure her loss.

  6. I cant believe this! She was my professor last semester and I absolutely LOVED her! She was so passionate and loved everything about what she did… It was also really awesome how considerate she was when I came to class because I was pregnant at the time….I feel awful about not sending her pictures of my baby when I had her like I had promised….but I am so grateful I met professor Horlings, she really instilled confidence in me to follow my dreams and truly consider a career in anthropology….. perhaps she is hanging out with Edward Teech and now knows what he did with the Queen Anns Revenge…..

    I attached a picture of Evelyn “Atlantis” dob 12/24/12 for you professor :} perhaps Evie will follow your foot steps and pursue a career in underwater archaeology… I know she will be something awesome because whenever you started to lecture she would stop moving in class and it seemed like she would pay attention and listen to your lectures

  7. Jeff and Catherine Watson

    A Tribute to Rachel Horlings
    From Catherine Watson on behalf of the Watson family

    Our hearts breaks upon hearing this tragic news for all of Rachel’s family and friends whom have been touched by her life and are now having to say goodbye.

    When Rachel’s name is mentioned I would have to say the thought that comes to mind is “a passion for life…”
    So many people don’t seem to have a passion for life or their faith to the degree that Rachel did. She knew what she wanted to do and she knew what she believed. She set standards for all of us. It did help that she had one of the most awesome jobs which utilized her many God-given gifts and talents. I love history and diving and would live vicariously through her when she would tell me stories of wrecks she was diving on and doing research about. I loved hearing what she was doing at work and in her life. When she was in Florida, and we lived in the US, we would talk several times a year and update each other on life. At that time she was working on a Civil War dig in Tennessee and had just started her work in the Black Sea. What she was finding there and the ages of the treasures she found never ceased to amaze me.

    We met Rachel in Nigeria in 1991 when she was just starting High School. We clicked right away, we had so much in common… we both loved the outdoors and didn’t like to cook or sew. We were both definitely water people, whether it be teaching our son, Tyler, and a few of his friends to swim one summer at The Elm House or waterskiing and cliff jumping at Rayfield, whatever it was, we had a blast. We spent many wonderful times with her and her family. Holidays like Canadian Thanksgivings, Christmas at CRC, and our traditional annual pounded yam at her house before going to watch all the High Schoolers dressed up and taking off for the Hillcrest events.

    For nine years I helped run the CRC mission kids camp. Rachel helped me with the younger kids when she was still around. She always had a sparkle in her eye and a big smile on her face, wonderful with kids. That’s why she became my kid’s favorite babysitter. We had one babysitting event that I’ll never forget. Jeff and I went to the PTA meeting at Hillcrest and left her with 8 year old Tyler. He somehow convinced Rachel that the chimp (Charley) we were caring for was in fact allowed to run around inside the house. The long distance call we had been waiting for about adoption and our home study came that night, of all nights. Rachel informed them we were out that night (midweek) while the chimp was screeching in the background. It is a wonder how the papers went through. When we finally got Olivia, we had a good laugh about it. Olivia always loved the fact that the doll furniture that she played with everyday had been Rachel’s when she was a little girl. Another fun trip we had with Rachel and her family was to Yankari Game Park. We had so much fun swinging on the rope into the warm springs and then when we returned to our rooms to find that they had been raided by baboons that had apparently enjoyed all our crackers and oranges.

    Rachel you lived your life to the fullest and most importantly you lived it to give glory to God. Your life was too short, but the world was definitely a better place because of how you lived life…

    Miss you and love you Rachel,

    …and our deepest love and sympathy to Andy, Linda, Cal, Brian, Sarah and Aaron

    “Aunt” Catherine (Jeff, Tyler and Olivia Watson)
    Manila, Philippines

  8. Tom and Rosie Thacher

    Dear Andy, Linda, and family,
    May this Easter 2013 bring you hope and peace knowing Rachel is spending her first Resurrection Sunday in the presence of Jesus.
    Our hearts are sad for you. We will be praying for you tomorrow as you celebrate and reflect on Rachel’s life. Please know our thougths and prayers will be with you tomorrow and the months to follow.
    With sincere sympathy,
    Tom and Rosie Thacher
    I Cor. 15:20-22

  9. Blylee Gardiner-Bernstein

    In a cookie-cutter world, Rachel was one of the few real individuals I’ve met in my life. She knew who she was and she didn’t suffer fools.

    I think the thing I’ll miss about her most were her giant bear hugs — You felt as if her entire being surrounded you; sturdy and enduring as a giant Sequoia. That’s why to think of her no longer here among us, with her soulful presence is unthinkable — unspeakable.

    You don’t get to choose your family but you do get to pick your friends and Rachel & Al always felt more like family than friends. David and I would muse about how we looked forward to knowing and bonding with them throughout our lives, watching them grow, change and fulfill their potential.

    On Saturday morning, when I saw David slumped over his computer as if punched in the solar plexus, crying and uttering, “Oh no..God no…!!!” I was dumbstruck..shattered when he gave me the news about Rachel. It couldn’t be — It just couldn’t be.

    It’s ironic to me that at my mother-in-law’s old age home, so many are slumped over in wheelchairs, inert, seemingly lost in some twilight place; basically bodies being warehoused, yet still alive. I can not fathom that the universe deemed to take our vibrant, loving, giving, selfless Rachel in the prime of her life. I can’t begin to make sense of it. But one thing I do know is that my life is richer for having known her.

  10. Theresa Singleton

    The last day I saw Rachel was Sunday, February 10, 2013. It was the day after a two-day conference on the archaeology of slavery in St. Maarten. She had invited me to spend the day touring the island with her, Al, and Murilo, another participant at the conference. Rachel did all the driving and whenever she hit a sharp curve, she would playfully yell out, “Weeeee.” We stopped at the beach and as walked along it aimlessly, we unintentionally intruded upon sunbathers in the all-nude section of the beach. Feeling awkward, we laughed at ourselves, and quickly turned around. Later that day, Rachel said jokingly that she just did not see enough nudity. At our last stop, we went to visit the site an 18th-century fort. An American visitor warned us that walk up involved climbing a lot of stairs, so Rachel put on her knee brace. The walk was not nearly as bad as the visitor claimed, but to reach the highest point on the fort, it was necessary to walk over some stone rubble. Concerned about my own footing, I asked Rachel if it was wise for her to walk over the stones, she responded that she had to try to see what her knee could handle. It was a great time with delightful conversation on a beautiful day in the Caribbean. At the end of day, I realized what I admired about Rachel. She was fun-loving, fearless, and determined. I will miss her terribly, and will always remember that last, wonderful day I spent with her. My heartfelt condolences go to Al and Rachel’s family.

  11. Klaaske and Neil deKoning

    Dear Linda and Andy;
    Just heard about the tragic loss of your daughter, Rachel. We can’t begin to imagine what that must be like, but we know you and trust that your faith in your and Rachel’s Creator and Redeemer will sustain you in the days and weeks ahead. We will hold you up in prayer. On this Good Friday and Easter weekend, we know that the end of the STORY is GOOD. May you be comforted to know that.
    -Neil and Klaaske

  12. Karen McNamara

    There is an announcement today in Syracuse University News about the service for Rachel on Monday. If anyone wants to share/read it, here is the link:

  13. Jerry Miller

    Dear Linda and Andy,

    My prayers go with in this time of grief. I do not want to give any soft stupid kind of remark. Working with 220 volts is quite dangerious. I had a close call in Nigeria when I was a Wycliffe Bible Translator there. If it had not been for Don Lindholm and his wife I would not be here today. I pray for you family too.

    Jerry Miller

  14. Heerko en Janny Koops

    Van harte gecondoleerd met het verlies van je dochter.
    Heerko en Janny Koops Van Oom Berend en Tante Janna Holland

  15. Lois (Fuller) Dow

    Andy and Linda,
    My sincere condolences to you and prayers for comfort and patience in this tragedy. You are in my thoughts.

    Lois (Fuller) Dow

  16. Hilda Roukema

    Dear andy and Linda,
    I was shocked to hear of your daughter Rachel’s ttragic and untimely death. I never met Rachel but, by all accounts, she seemed to be a promising expert in her field. What a loss. I pray that God will comfort you and give you daily strength to carry on.
    Hilda Roukema

  17. Pastor Richard Grift

    Dear Andy and Linda,
    The only words I can think of to encourage you are those of our Lord: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” May this resurrection hope sustain you in your loss. We are and will continue to pray for you and your family. On behalf of CrossPoint CRC, Brampton, Ontario. Pastor Richard Grift

  18. Andrew Leach

    Farther along we’ll know all about it.
    Farhter along we’ll understand why.
    We’ll understand it all by and by.
    Just part of a song that has been a blessing to me a number of times. I still find it hard to believe that my cousin is gone. I wanted to let all of the family know that you are in my prayers, especially you, Al. In Christian Love, Andrew

  19. Mrs Joy Nwankwo

    Hi Andy, so sorry about the sudden sad death of your daughter. Pls accept my condolences . So many events in life we can’t explain but with trust and confidence in your creator, be comforted. I wish u and ur humble family well. God is on the throne!
    Joy Nwankwo – (Nesta Garba’s friend & Director in Fixcon)

  20. Karlyn McLaughlin

    My family knew Bryan during the years he lived in the Ormond/Port Orange area and I remember the time he brought Rachel to meet us during one of her visits. I only met her once, but remember wishing to have the opportunity to know her more. It was so fun watching her and Bryan together! My favorite memory of the night was her big, warm, wonderful hug goodbye. After she hugged me I said to someone, “She hugs just like Bryan!” That was close to ten years ago, but I remember that hug. Even in that brief moment she managed to make me feel special. Al and the entire Horling’s family will always be in our thoughts and prayers.