Merle G. Horrocks

Horrocks, Merle G.
Age 92

Merle George Horrocks of Norfolk, NE, died of natural causes at Faith Regional Hospital, September 21, 2013. Merle, son of John George and Minnie Ruth (Fichter) Horrocks of Meadow Grove, was born July 18, 1921. He attended elementary school at Hillside District 52 in Madison County, where four generations of his family had been students. He graduated from Meadow Grove High School in 1939 and subsequently took training in airplane mechanics and sheet metal fabrication at the University of Omaha, now the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Drafted into the military during World War II, Merle served in the Army Air Corps. He was stationed in Puerto Rico where he repaired airplanes damaged in the war. He was originally scheduled to ship out to the Pacific Theater the day after the United States bombed Hiroshima but the trip was cancelled and he returned home to Nebraska instead.
Merle married Pauline Catron of Meadow Grove in June 1946. He farmed Pauline's family farm, located just inside Pierce County, seven miles north of Battle Creek, until 1996. There they raised their two children, James Merle ("Jim," born in 1951) and Mary Rhea (1953). Upon retirement in 1996, Merle built a new home in Norfolk, the town where Pauline had taught school for 25 years and Jim and Mary attended high school. Merle and Pauline remained there until Pauline's death in 2008. Shortly afterward, Merle took up residence in the Norfolk Veterans' Home. Merle and Pauline took pride in Jim and Mary's accomplishments at Norfolk High School and thereafter at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Following College, Jim attended and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine; Mary attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where she received a Masters Degree.
For Merle and Pauline, their greatest joy was their grandchildren, Meganne and David (Omaha and Denver, respectively). Merle was a quiet and thoughtful man, but enjoyed a good conversation and was always available for community and church involvement and leadership. He served on boards and committees for the United Methodist Church, both in Pierce and in Norfolk, the area Rural Electrification Administration (REA), 4-H clubs, and veterans and Disabled American Veterans organizations.
Merle, his brother, and their father all shared a love of animals, including the cattle they raised and the horses kept to work cattle on their farms. Merle also loved basketball, which he played in high school, and baseball, which he played for the Pierce American Legion. Few ever outworked Merle. Always a giving man, he would do whatever he could, whenever he could, for whomever he could. This was especially true with regard to his wife and family.
Merle was preceded in death by his father and mother, John and Ruth Horrocks, his wife Pauline (Catron) and his brother Judson Dale Horrocks. He is survived by his son Jim and Jims' wife Patricia (Sullivan) of Omaha, his daughter Mary of Boulder, Colorado, a granddaughter, Meganne Horrocks-Storm and her husband Jarron Storm of Omaha, and a grandson, David Horrocks of Denver, Colorado.
Family graveside interment services were held at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Norfolk on September 25.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE AND CELEBRATION OF LIFE will be held at the Norfolk Veterans home at 600 East Benjamin, Norfolk, on Wednesday, October 16th, at 2pm. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in care of the Disabled American Veterans. Cards and memorial gifts should be sent to The Horrocks Family, c/o Norfolk Home for Funerals, 1203 W. Norfolk Ave., Norfolk NE 68701. HOME FOR FUNERALS
Norfolk, NE 402-371-3330


Published in Omaha World-Herald on Oct. 15, 2013