Abner J. HorrallOctober 8, 1931 ~ April 9, 2017 (age 85)
Abner J. Horrall, 85, Oaktown, passed away Sunday, April 9, 2017 at his residence. Abner was born October 8, 1931, in Bicknell, the son of Virgil L. and Mary Lou (Hargis) Horrall. In 1956, he married Frieda Girton, who preceded him in death. Abner and S. Diana O’Dell were married on February 14, 2000.
He worked at Prestolite until 1976, when he followed his dream of owning a farm. A seventh-generation Hoosier, his family roots are steeped in southern Indiana history including many farmers and a soldier who fought in the War of 1812. Abner loved to recount the tales of farming with his dad, grandfather, and cousins in the Purcell family. Naturally, he handed a love of the land down to his children who helped him grow, pick, pack and sell homegrown tomatoes for over 20 years. He started raising cantaloupes and watermelons after buying farm land in Oaktown. Eventually, the farm known as Melon Acres became one of the largest fruit and vegetable producers in Indiana. Under his direction, Melon Acres blazed many trails in Knox County agriculture including the use of irrigation, plastic mulch, loading belts, mechanized packaging, and refrigeration.
During the Korean War, Abner served in the United States Army. He was a member of the Elks, VFW, and the Moose Lodge. He loved to quail and rabbit hunt, as well as shooting trap.
Abner is survived by his wife, Diana; children, Carrie L. Smith (wife of Jim) from Vincennes, Michael O. Horrall (husband of Vicki) and Mitchell D. Horrall (husband of Teresa) from Oaktown; step-children Carl O’Dell, Phillip O’Dell, and Jacqueline Kleuh (wife of Steve); ten grandchildren; and “too many great-grandchildren to count”. Other survivors include his sisters, Yvonne F. McCrery of Spavinaw, Oklahoma, Iva Lou McCabe and Mary Belle Sewell of Vincennes, and Ruth Haflett of Oaktown, and many nieces and nephews and their children.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Frieda, on October 10, 1992, and infant brother, Thomas Horrall.
Visitation will be Friday, April 14, 2017 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Fredrick & Son McClure-Utt Funeral Homes Vincennes Chapel, 313 Church St. A private interment will be held at a later date. Contributions in lieu of flowers are suggested to Purdue Cancer Research Center, 403 W. Wood St., West Lafayette, IN 47907 or your local Salvation Army. Online condolences may be made at www.fredrickandson.com