Cover photo for Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Horak's Obituary
Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Horak Profile Photo

Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Horak

March 30, 1940 — March 3, 2024


Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Horak

Gerald Joseph “Jerry” Horak, age 83, of Candler, NC, passed away peacefully on March 3, 2024, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease. 


He was born on March 30, 1940, in Washington, Iowa, the son of Paul Richard and Alida Horak. A biologist and ornithologist, he spent his career studying prairie chickens and other threatened and endangered species in the Flint Hills of Kansas before moving to the Asheville area in 2022 to be close to family.   


He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ellen (Abby) Horak of Candler; son Michael (Lisa Weinerman Horak) of Asheville and son Joseph (Leslie Geisenberg Horak) of Santa Rosa, California, as well as four beloved grandchildren--Molly, Isabel, Quinn and Andrew. He is also survived by two brothers, Rick Horak and Tom Horak, both of Washington, Iowa, and preceded in death by one brother, Tim.


 A graduate of St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, he received his master’s degree in biology from Iowa State University.  After graduation he took a job as a field biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, where he worked for 35 years.  In retirement, Horak found great joy traveling in his RV and spending time in two of his favorite winter locations -- the Florida Keys and the Sonora Desert of Arizona. He loved fishing, birdwatching and woodworking.


A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, March 13, at 11 a.m. at St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church, 768 Asbury Road, Candler, NC 28715. His ashes will be interred this summer in the tallgrass prairie he loved so much.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Nature Conservancy of Kansas, PO Box 4345, Topeka, Kansas 66604 or the Parkinson’s Foundation, Carolinas Chapter, 200 SE First Street, Suite 800, Miami, Florida 33131.


The care of Mr. Horak has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Candler and an online memorial register is available at “obituaries” at


To order memorial trees in memory of Gerald "Jerry" Joseph Horak, please visit our tree store.

Past Services


Wednesday, March 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church

768 Asbury Rd, Candler, NC 28715

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 557

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree

Send a Gift

Send a Gift