Merlyn Clarence Vocke
November 17, 1933 – March 4, 2023
Merlyn “Merle” Vocke, age 89, beloved husband, father, grandfather and professor, passed away on March 4, 2023, surrounded in love by his wife and children. Merlyn was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Clarence and Nora (Hintz) Vocke November 17, 1933. He graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School in 1951, and received a full academic scholarship to Valparaiso University (Valpo). At Valpo he received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1955 and distinguished himself by being offered a full-time teaching position at Valpo based upon his exceptional undergraduate performance. There, he also met the love of his life and perfect life partner Judith “Judy” Clausen, and they were married July 22, 1961, in Clinton, Iowa.
Merlyn was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Valpo for 39 years. While teaching at Valpo, Merlyn simultaneously earned his master’s degree from Notre Dame University in 1957. He then studied microwaves at The University of Iowa, earning his PhD in 1972. Merlyn spent most summers working on submarine communication systems at the Crane Navel Weapons Support Center in Crane, Indiana.
While attending and teaching at Valpo, Merlyn assisted his Phi Kappa Psi brothers by helping to maintain the chapter house. As a professor, he helped to establish the campus radio station WVUR. He served as a Board Member of the Visiting Nurses Association and was active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), serving as Treasurer of IEEE Calumet region and IEEE student advisor.
Merlyn taught in Malaysia at the Institut Teknologi Mara in Shah Alam where he was honored as professor of the year 1990/1991, at Zhejiang University of Technology in Batu Pahat, and at IKATAN in Kuala Lumpur where he was awarded “Most Lovable Lecturer.”
During his time in Malaysia, Merle picked up a love for world travel and was proud to have visited over 50 countries with his wife Judy. When not traveling the world, he and Judy traveled the United States, visiting 49 of the 50 states, usually with their pop-up camper in tow. One summer, Merle and Judy managed to visit, camp, and hike in every state park in Indiana. His family members will all attest to his camper-backing and steak-grilling talents.
To his children, Merlyn was just Dad. A devoted car-pool driving, swim meet-attending father who also happened to repair and maintain all the timing equipment.
Merlyn was a devoted, lifelong Valpo Crusader men’s and women’s sports fan and basketball season ticket holder, attending football, basketball and volleyball games.
Merlyn was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Nora Vocke, and his brother, Kenneth Vocke. He is survived by his devoted wife, Judy; children, Cheryl (David Legere) Vocke, Kathryn (Matt) Fontaine, and Dave (Ann) Vocke; grandchildren, Justin and Kyle Fontaine, and Nicholas and Nathan Vocke; sister, Dolores Rauschenberger; nephew, Tom Vocke; and nieces, Linda Grayot and Carol Vocke.
Visitation will be held Saturday, March 11, 2023 from 10:00-10:45 AM with a Celebration of Life Service at 11:00 AM at Immanuel Lutheran Church 1700 N. Monticello Park Dr., Valparaiso. Donations in memory of Merlyn may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, Indiana, or a charity of choice.