Homer J. MerfeldHomer J. Merfeld, 83, resident of Rapid City, S.D. since 1963, died at home on April 6, 2013.
Homer J. Merfeld, 83, resident of Rapid City, S.D., since 1963, died at home on Saturday, April 6, 2013.
Homer was born on March 2, 1930, in Greene, Iowa. He attended school in Cloquet, Minn., and graduated in 1948. He attended Parks College of St. Louis University until joining the USAF during the Korean War. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt. after completing pilot training and served as a fighter pilot. Homer logged 642 combat flying hours flying 378 missions in the Vietnam War as a Forward Air Controller. Other duties included weather forecaster, Minuteman missile launch control officer, and ROTC Commandant.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Texas A&M and an MBA from Ohio State University.
Homer and Carol were married in Carlton, Minn., in 1953.
After retirement from the service he continued his interests in various career fields by working as a pilot in the weather modification program at SDSM&T; teaching business courses at then National College of Business; serving as Continuing Education Department Supervisor at RCRH; Director of the Area Health Education Center; over the road truck driver; Director of Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center; serving on the board of directors of Hart Ranch RV Resort; serving on the board for the SD Air and Space Museum; serving on the RC School Board; and serving on many United Way fund drives.
Homer was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, the VFW, Elks Lodge 1187, Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center, the Air Force Association, and the Military Officers Association.
Homer just published his first book of poems and anecdotes called “Ramblings,” a wonderful collection of his life’s experiences and collected wisdom.
He is survived by son, Paul (Judy) Merfeld of Piedmont; daughter, Dr. Michele (Dr. Larry) Hale of Columbia, Mo.; Michael (Mary Anne) Merfeld of Alpharetta, Ga.; four grandsons, Matthew, Chase, Joshua and Sean; one step-granddaughter, Gina (Dave) Ganey; three great-grandchildren, Addie, Haley and Noah; two sisters, Louise (Leonard) Goodell of Grand Marais, Minn.; sister, Lorraine Sunnarborg of Wickenberg, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Homer Merfeld and Margaret Ann (Bragg) Merfeld; his brother-in-law, Lloyd Sunnarborg; and his beloved wife for 52 years, Carol (Poferl) Merfeld.
Memorial services were held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 11, at Westminster Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Bob Jacobs officiating.
Private family inurnment followed at Black Hills National Cemetery, near Sturgis, with military honors provided by the Ellsworth Air Force Base Honor Guard.
Memorials have been established to the Rapid City Regional Auxiliary Hospice House or the American Cancer Society.
Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.
His online guestbook is available to sign at www.osheimschmidt.com.
April 18, 2013 ~ Pine Journal, Cloquet, Minn.