Mervin Elmer Hornickel, 86, of Ord passed away on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at the Community Memorial Health Center in Burwell.
Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2017, at the Mira Valley Evangelical United Methodist Church south of Ord. Reverend Dr. Jeff D. Hale will officiate. Burial will be in the Ord City Cemetery. Military Honors will be provided by the Ord VFW Post #7029 and American Legion Post #38. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the Ord Memorial Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Mira Valley Evangelical United Methodist Church, Ord Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department or Donor’s Choice. Ord Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Mervin was born February 1, 1931, on the family farm in Mira Valley south of Ord to Elmer and Florence (Koelling) Hornickel.
Survivors of the immediate family include his wife, Delores Hill-Hornickel; four daughters and three sons-in-law, Irene & Mike Kreifels and Cheryl Hornickel, all of Ord, Joy & Tom Schmidt of Tucson, AZ,
and Bonnie & Jim Chambers of Auburn, CA; and a brother and sister-in-law, Kent & Twilla Hornickel of Ord.
He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Jessica (Luke) Hinkle of Elgin, NE, Rebecca (Seth) Watson of Marion, IA; Bill (Stephanie) Kreifels of North Loup, NE; Andrew Schmidt of Albuquerque, NM; Elizabeth Schmidt of Las Vegas, NV; Caleb Schmidt of Lincoln, NE; Joseph (Kayla) Chambers of Evansville, IN; Matthew (Brittany) Chambers of Chico, CA; Elizabeth & Nathanael Chambers of Auburn, CA; Dawn Bevans of Waverly, NE; and 13 great-grandchildren, Ethan, Austin, & Braedon Hinkle; Annabelle, Abigail, Eliana, & Olivia Watson; Amylia Kreifels; Jeremiah & Susanna Chambers; Troy Martel of Lincoln,
NE; Taylor & Zoe Bevans of Waverly, NE; and two on the way. Mervin is also survived by 5 step-children and their families, Sherry Nelson of NC; Mike (Sandy) Hill of Loup City, NE; Mark (Trish) Hill and Dave (Elaine) Hill of Arcadia, NE; and Paul Hill of Cozad, NE.
Mervin attended Valleyside District #10 through the 9th grade and then attended Ord High School, graduating in 1948.
Mervin served as a medic, achieving the rank of Corporal in the U. S. Army, from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean Conflict. His basic training was in Fort Riley, KS, and served the rest of his term in Ulm, Germany.
On May 18, 1957, he married Geraldine M. Koelling at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Mira Valley. They made their home farming in the area. Geraldine passed away in March of 2003. On December 20, 2003, Mervin married Delores J. Holmes Hill at the Mira Valley Evangelical United Methodist Church and made their home in Mira Valley, eventually moving back to the family farm.
Mervin spent his life doing what he loved the most…farming. He enjoyed being in his John Deere tractors tilling the ground and planting the seed. His favorite time was harvest because “you get something back
for all your efforts.” He was happy to be combining or driving the truck. This past summer he tilled his garden area and got down on his hands and knees to plant potatoes.
The church community was important to him and he attended the Mira Valley Church his entire life. He exhibited a quiet faith. He enjoyed singing tenor in the choir, served on the Board of Trustees, and was
Financial Secretary for many years. Until recent years, Mervin maintained the Mira Valley church cemetery. As a child he enjoyed going to Sunday school because he loved all the Bible stories.
Mervin was active in the farming community, serving on the Coop Board for several years and on the Twin Loups Reclamation District Board from 1983 to 2015.
Mervin exhibited a quiet sense of humor, an example being when asked what he ate while on the boat to Germany when in the Army, he smiled and replied, “Roadkill!”
Family was an important part of his life. He showed his love for his family through his hands – he fixed many bicycle tires, built a swing-set over 50 years ago that his great-grandchildren now play on, built
kitchen and bathroom cabinets, made a tiny cupboard to hold his girls’ toy dishes, tickled his girls’ feet to wake them up in the morning, caught a baby raccoon that became family pet, and many other projects around the house and farm. In recent weeks, the family found comfort in the embrace of his strong hands.
Mervin is preceded in death by his first wife, Geraldine, and his parents.