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William F. Horak

July 17, 1923 October 24, 2014
William F. Horak
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Obituary for William F. Horak

Worthington, MN


      William (Bill) F. Horak Sr., 91, died October 24 at home in The Meadows in Worthington, MN. Bill was born in Aberdeen, SD on July 17, 1923 to James and Emma (McKee) Horak. He graduated from Worthington Senior High School in 1941 and worked in support of the war effort until he enlisted with the Army's 753rd field artillery unit in early 1943. He served in the European war theater in 1944-45 and was discharged in January 1946. Prior to shipping overseas, Bill married his high-school sweetheart, June Welch, in Marysville, CA on April 29, 1944.

      In 1946, Bill began a 38-year career with the Minnesota Employment Service in Worthington and retired in 1984 as the office manager. He and June raised four children and were always actively involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren. Bill was a volunteer fireman for 25 years and served as secretary to the Fire Department for most of those years. He also was active in post-war Worthington baseball and softball clubs and was a long-time member of the Worthington Sportsman Club. For many decades, Bill was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

      Bill spent countless hours fishing on Lake Okabena. Often, he was the first wintertime fisherman to test the ice in front of the old power plant in pursuit of walleyes. Bill always spent much of the fall hunting waterfowl and pheasants with family and friends in the Lake Ocheda area south of Worthington. He and June shared a love of the outdoors and together instilled its legacy in their children and grandchildren.

      Bill lost the love of his life in 2001. Notably, June was born and died in the same Worthington hospital. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, James and Richard (Dick died in service during WWII). He is survived by his sister Muriel and his and June’s four children and spouses: Dick (Linda), Spearfish, S.D.; Rebecca Graff (Roy), Cottage Grove, MN; William Jr. (Rosalie), Lakewood, CO; and Ben (Ann), Eagan, MN. Bill’s descendants include 11 grandchildren and, currently, 19 great grandchildren.

      All of Bill's children and grandchildren and many of his great grandchildren will gather to celebrate his life during services on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., at the First United Methodist Church in Worthington, MN, with Rev. Dr. Daren Flinck officiating. Burial will be in the Worthington Cemetery.

      Visitation will be held prior to the service from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.at the church.

      Benson Funeral Home in Worthington is in charge of the arrangements.

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