Merle R. Horwedel
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Merle R. Horwedel

Born: October 28, 1932

Died: November 18, 2020

BUDA – Merle Robert Horwedel, 88, of Buda, died on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

Mr. Horwedel was born on October 28, 1932 in Vermont, IL to Bernard and Leona (Aten) Horwedel. He attended college at Western Illinois University in Macomb, then served in the Army during the Korean War from 1952-1954. He completed his studies at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Upon graduation, he began his career in education as ag teacher at Buda High School. Four years later, he became the first principal at Western High School in the Buda/Sheffield consolidated district and was a fixture there for many years, also serving as golf coach, assistant football coach, bus driver, and assistant superintendent before retiring in 1990.

Merle married Ruth Ann Powell on August 11, 1957 in Rushville, IL. She survives along with their two children, Deb Horwedel McCreight of Annandale, MN, and Dan (Jane) Horwedel of Fort Wayne, IN. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Kyle and Kevin McCreight, Carrie (Drew) Feipel, and Isaac (Ricci) Horwedel, and three great-grandchildren, Anna, Bennett & Caleb Feipel.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Harold, and twin sister, Mary Edith.

Merle loved children, animals, the outdoors, and volunteering in his community. He also had many hobbies. He wrestled in college, played fast-pitch softball way too long, was an avid golfer and hunter, and trained dogs and horses. He was a charter member of the Buda Rescue Unit and Buda Jaycees, served on the fire department and American Legion in Buda, coached and umpired ball teams, taught first aid classes, hunter safety courses, and worked to support wildlife. He was a member of the Buda United Methodist Church until it closed and then Bunker Hill Church in Buda.

He had an influence on many people during his life, and always had a smile and a bit of wisdom to share. He believed in family, community, and helping out wherever and however he could. Merle will be missed, but he lived life well and full.

Due to precautions regarding the coronavirus pandemic, private funeral services will be held with military rights in Vermont, IL, with his brother-in-law Morris McClelland officiating.

Memorials or donations may be made to Bunker Hill Church or the Buda American Legion. Online condolences may be sent to

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Bureau County Republican on Nov. 21, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
November 21, 2020
Merle was such a great influence on so many people, myself included. My condolences to his family. I am thinking of you much of the time right now. Love and many blessings to you all.
Joe Buckman
November 21, 2020
These are tough time for the family and loved ones when one dear to them departs. We have to think of the life he lived and the people that are better for him being here. I was one of those who benefited from Merle. He was very inspirational, very fair, honest and a model figure of how to walk through life. He always did what he thought was right and the best thing to do while still being caring and compassionate. I will miss him. Our prayers go out to his family and friends.
Richard McKee, Western HS class of 1970
Richard McKee
November 20, 2020
USN Veteran
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