Morlok, Elmer 93 Feb. 08, 1923 Oct. 07, 2016 Elmer Otto Morlok was Born Feb. 8, 1923, and passed away Oct. 7, 2016, at the age of 93, after a short bout of pancreatic cancer. Born on a family farm outside of Columbus, Neb., to Otto and Ida Morlok, Elmer was the third of three sons. At the age of 18, Elmer started his career with the Union Pacific Railroad. He was working as a stenographer when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Elmer enlisted in the Army and became a part of the Army Air Corp. While on leave he married Helen Sommer, Nov. 3, 1943. He then immediately shipped out to the European theater. Along with many other duties, he served as a German interpreter for his unit and was present for the liberation of the concentration camp, Buchenwald. He also landed at Normandy one week after the invasion. In 2013 he returned to Normandy and walked some of the same soil he had fought on. When the war ended, he was on the first shipload of troops to sail up the Hudson River in New York after V-J Day. After being discharged in 1945, Elmer and Helen resumed their life together and started their family. They had three children, Timothy, Douglas, and Mary Helen. His wife, Helen passed away in July, 1967. Elmer returned to his position at the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1964 he was transferred to Portland as Assistant Director of Labor Relations for the Northwest District. This is where he met Francine (Bottler) Bliss, and they were married in 1970. In his retirement, Elmer and Francine enjoyed many adventures; several trips to Europe, family vacations to Mexico, and many voyages with their "Cruise Group". Elmer led a very full life. He enjoyed gardening, working out at the gym, and was very active in his church. Volunteering and community service were very important to Elmer. Along with his continued service at church, he volunteered as a reading tutor in the Beaverton School District, and at Pilgrim Lutheran School. He was a long standing member of The Gideons International. He shared his WWII experiences with local students for research projects and many other local events. Elmer will be remembered for his quiet demeanor, encouraging words, and willingness to always help others
and his love of a good Rusty Nail! His family and friends take comfort that he now rests with our Lord in Heaven. Elmer was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Helen; and his brothers, Herb Morlok and Adolph Morlok. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Francine; her daughter, Dena; and his three children, Timothy Morlok, Douglas Morlok and Mary Helen May; his seven grandchildren; and his seven great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 5650 SW Hall Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005. Donations may be made to, Pilgrim Lutheran School in Beaverton; The Gideons International; or OHSU Knight Cancer Institute for Pancreatic Research.
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