Date of Birth October 12, 1937
Date of Death June 17, 2014
Merle Carl Houchin, age 76, went to be with his Lord and friend on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at 10:00pm.
Carl was born in Canton, Oklahoma on October 12th, 1937 to Zenia Elizabeth Cook Houchin and William Oria Houchin. He spent the first eleven years of his childhood living and playing on the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Reservation in Oklahoma where he had many friends and lived out a part of his childhood seeking and living out adventures on the Indian Reservation. He was given the name Merle Carl Houchin from his parents, but went by Carl. Carl had 9 brothers and sisters. Fredrick Orn, Olive Lavina, James Lloyd, Asa Earl, Alice Maxine, Edwin Ralph, Eva Mae, Mary Geraldine, Alfred Leo and the baby of the family was Merle “Carl”. Carl’s mother was never afraid to let anyone and everyone the she met know that Carl was her “baby”, even after Carl was a grown man with grown children. Carl was very proud to hold that position of honor in the Houchin family and in his mother’s eyes.
Carl and his family moved to Caldwell, Kansas in 1948, when Carl was eleven years old. Carl attended school in Caldwell and graduated from Caldwell High School in 1957. Carl attended college in Winfield at Southwestern College. Carl’s career dream was to become a barber, but instead spent almost his whole career working at Beech Aircraft as a Took Grinder and Instructor. In November, 1957 Carl married his high school sweetheart Judy Arlene Kollmorgan and they built a life together and raised their three daughters in Caldwell: Terrie Kaye born October 8, 1958, Teresa Faye born June 21, 1961 and Delana Dee born January 23, 1965.
From the time Carl was a very small boy, until the time of his death, he always owned a dog. At one point in Carl’s life he raised, bred and trained Hunting Dogs. One of the dogs that Carl raised, trained and later sold was named “Nebraska Bird Dog of the Year”.
Carl at one time in his life spoke very fluent Navaho and had worked to teach his daughters and grandsons a few phrases and greetings in Navaho.
Carl had 7 grandsons. During his life, there was a running competition between Carl and his seven grandsons as to who was the “Bull Moose” of the family. Carl would tell them that he was the “Bull Moose” and they were his “Satellite Moose”. The entire time his grandsons grew up around their grandfather, there was never a time the family was together that this butting of horns wouldn’t take place of establishing who was the “Bull Moose” of the Houchin family.
During Carl’s career he spent 6 years working at the Caldwell Coop, 13 years as an EMT for the Caldwell Ambulance Service, and 34 years as a Tool Grinder and Instructor for Beech Aircraft where he retired in October of 1999. Carl had a dream of becoming a Hunting Guide. In 2002 he saw his dream come to fruition. Carl became a Professional Hunting and Fishing Guide and started a Hunting Guide business called “Kansas Whitetail Outfitters”. During that time of being a Professional Hunting and Fishing Guide, Carl made five Television Shows that was broadcast on National Television.
Even from a small boy Carl was very patriotic. He saw every one of his brothers go off to war, and as a small boy Carl could hardly wait until he was old enough to be called into service for his country. By the time Carl was old enough to be drafted, the war had ended, therefore, Carl was never able to fulfill his dream of serving his county in the military. Even still, Carl’s patriotism to his county never waned. He was always honored to meet service men and would always take the time to thank them for their service. Carl would go out of his way to ensure that anything he purchased was “American Made”. He would even lecture his other family members about buying items or using services that were not American. One time Carl decided he needed to replace the tires on his RV. He spent months making calls and doing research online before he found some tires for his RV that he was confident was made and manufactured in only the United States of America.
A few honors that Carl holds in his hunting and fishing career are: In 2002 Carl was placed in the Manitoba Canada Record book for the largest Canadian Black Bear. The bear was taken with a 50 caliber Muzzle Loader Rifle that Carl built himself in the mid 1970’s. He brought the Black Bear home and had it mounted and was displayed in his home for many years. It is now on display at the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas. Carl also holds a Kansas State Record for an Antelope he took in 1992. Presently Carl has many wildlife trophy mountings that he earned, that are on display, that he has donated to Kansas Fish and Wildlife Park Organizations around the state of Kansas.
Carl was an active member of the Caldwell Christian Church. He was a coach for the Caldwell Girls Fastpitch Softball Teams for over 20 years and even coached several teams to the National Softball Tournament. Carl loved to do anything outdoors. He lived a life of “adventure”. He hunted whitetail deer, moose, bear, ducks, turkeys, wild boars, geese and many other types of wildlife. He fished in many states in America and Canada and had the opportunity on several occasions to do deep sea fishing on the open ocean. He also loved to ride his ATV in the mountains of Colorado, take hunting and fishing trips to Canada, take his RV on the open road, often not even knowing where he would be going or end up. He also loved to take long road trips with some of his close friends on his motorcycle. Carl could often be found at various lakes across Kansas and other states fishing and camping with his dog and companion “Tanner”.
In Carl’s later years he could often be seen around Caldwell driving his pride and joy, his 1930 Ford Model A. He was an active member of the Model A Ford Car Club in Wichita and the Border Queen Cruisers Car Club in Caldwell and was Vice President of Wichita A’s Club in 2007 and 2008. Carl had recently taken a trip to Colorado and driven his Ford Model A to the top of Pikes Peak, taken a trip with his Model A Ford Car Club to New Orleans and many other faraway places.
Carl is preceded in death by his Father - William Oria Houchin, Mother – Zenia Elizabeth Cook Houchin; Brothers – Fredrick Orn, James Lloyd, Asa Earl, Edwin Ralph, and Alfred Leo; Sisters – Olive Lavina, Alice Maxine, and Mary Geraldine.
Survivors include Carl’s sister - Eva Mae Houchin (81) of Derby, Kansas, Daughters – Terrie Kaye Breitigan of Wichita, Teresa Faye Alexander of Wichita and Delana Dee Morris of Wichita, Son-in-law – Cameron Bryan Morris of Wichita. Seven Grandsons, Jason Conrad Breitigan (35) of Wichita, Westen Lee Alexander (30) of Wichita, Joshua Paul Breitigan (29) of Valley Center, Heath Ryan Alexander (28) of Manhattan, Private First Class Jacob Andrew Breitigan, United States Army (24) of Fort Drum, New York (presently serving active duty in Afghanistan), Buckley Blane Alexander (23) of Kansas City, MO, and Casey Joe Rodriguez (21) of Wichita. Two Great-Grandchildren Lilly Rose Breitigan (5) of Valley Center and Timothy J Wayne (1) of Valley Center. Also included are many cousins, nieces, nephews and other family members. And his best friend and companion, his dog Tanner.
Services will be held 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 23, 2014 at the Central Christian Church in Caldwell, Kansas.
Interment will be in the Caldwell City Cemetery, Caldwell, Kansas.
Memorials may be given in memory of Carl to the Kansas Humane Society or to the Central Christian Church.