Stevens Memorial Chapel

607 28th Street, Ames, IA


Thomas Hoerner

December 25, 1934February 18, 2019

Thomas Allen Hoerner, age 84, of Boone, IA, formerly of Ames, IA, passed away Monday, February 18, 2019, at Mary Greeley Israel Hospice House in Ames, IA. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 21, 2019, at Stevens Memorial Chapel (607 28th Street Ames, IA 50010). Funeral services in Central City, IA, will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, February 23, 2019, with visitation one hour prior at Murdoch Funeral Home (511 E. Main Street Central City, IA 52214). Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Central City. In lieu of flowers, donations can be accepted in Tom’s name at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (5452 NE 22nd Street Des Moines, IA 50313 ATTN: Candy Bell).

Thomas Allen, son of Allen Leroy (Bud), farmer, and Emily Marie (Barmeier) Hoerner, housewife. Tom was baptized into the Methodist faith. He went to Central City, Iowa from Zwingle, Iowa with his parents in 1940. He attended the Bunker Hill rural school and graduated as valedictorian of his High School class in 1953 at Central City. He was active in baseball and basketball in high school, lettering in both sports. Thomas (Tom) received his B.S. degree in 1957 at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa and was a Vocational Agricultural Instructor at Alburnett Community High School, Alburnett, Iowa from 1957-1961.

From 1961-1965 he was an instructor at Iowa State University while obtaining his Masters and Ph.D. degrees. He was an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA from 1966-1968. In 1968 he returned to Iowa State as an associate professor and head of a section in the Agricultural Engineering Department. From 1973-1992 he was a professor of the Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering and Agricultural Education and Studies Departments. Dr. Hoerner was one of the organizers and the first superintendent of the National Future Farmers of American Agricultural Mechanics Contest at Kansas City, Missouri, 1972-1975. He was a recipient of the American Farmer degree National Future Farmers of American, 1973 and Iowa FFA degree, 1990. Tom was a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, American Vocational Assoc., National VoAg Teachers Assoc., Iowa VoAg Teachers Assoc., and American Assoc., of Teacher Educators in Agriculture; Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Delta Kappa, Gamma Sigma Delta and Alpha Tau Alpha. He served as an editor of John Deere Publications, has contributed numerous articles in his field to professional journals and has authored or co-authored over twenty five educational books and references in the agricultural mechanics field. He has received eighteen Blue Ribbon awards from the American Society of Agricultural Engineers for outstanding publications and visual materials.

In 1979 he was president of the American Association for Vocational Instructional Materials.In 1980 he was president of the Iowa State Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta. In 1983 he was recognized for his teaching abilities receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award for the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University and in 1989 he received the Iowa Legislative Teaching Excellence Award for the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University. In 1989 Tom was named Who’s Who in American Education. In 1992 he received the Outstanding Service Award from the Nat’l VoAg Teachers Assoc. and in 1993 he received the CIP Citation from the Nat’l FFA Organization.

Tom was interested in International work, having traveled in England, France, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland studying the agricultural and educational systems plus Costa Rica, where he taught workshops for agricultural mechanics instructors. Additional travels have taken him to Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii. He generously supported the Iowa State University alumni achievement fund with two educational scholarships given annually in his name and annual recognition of the outstanding high school Ag Mechanics instructor in Iowa. Tom was a stockholder and co-owner with Dr. W. Forrest Bear of Hobar Enterprises, Inc. and Macar, Inc., that was located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tom took early retirement from Iowa State University in May 1992. In his retirement he was active in golfing and fishing, in Canada and Alaska.

Tom and Carol E.M. Phyfe were married June 24, 1955 at the Federated Church in Central City, IA. From this union four children were born, Kim, Michael, Jeffrey and Thomas. Tom and his wife lived most of their married life in Ames, Iowa and several years ago relocated to country living in Boone, Iowa. Left to remember Tom are his wife of 63 years, Carol; children: Kim (J.C.) North, Michael (Kimberly) Hoerner, Jeffrey (Laurie) Hoerner, Thomas L. Hoerner and a son by choice, Seth Lane. Grandchildren: Justin (Gretchen) Small, Tyler, Branden, Kelly May and Thomas Reed Hoerner. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Natalie Smith; two brothers, James and Harry Hoerner and one grandchild, Kara Hoerner.


  • Justin Small , Active Pallbearer
  • Tyler Hoerner, Active Pallbearer
  • Branden Hoerner , Active Pallbearer
  • Kelly Hoerner , Active Pallbearer
  • Thomas R. Hoerner , Active Pallbearer
  • Roger Taylor , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Professor. Victor Bekkum , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Harold Mesenbrink , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Richard Biggart , Honourary Pallbearer
  • Professor. Forrest Bear , Honorary Pallbearer

  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa


  • Visitation

    Thursday, February 21, 2019

  • Visitation

    Saturday, February 23, 2019

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, February 23, 2019


Thomas Hoerner

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jerry Chizek

February 23, 2019

Dear Dr. Hoerner Family:
I'm saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Hoerner. My tie to him was as an ISU undergrad taking class with him and he was then my Major Professor when I completed my Masters. My thesis was a follow-up study of ISU Ag Ed undergraduate students from July 1, 1964 to December 31, 1981. The significance of these dates is that it was a follow-up to Dr. Hoerner's study of ISU Ag Ed students from January 1, 1940 to July 1, 1964. I remember he wanted me to be successful and went out of his way to assist; even editing the thesis final draft while on his way to Canada fishing in 1983. He would tease me about using the term "we" instead of "I" and would reference "me and the mouse in my pocket". He was definitely impactful on my life and on many other Ag Ed students during his tenure. He was one of the best! May he rest in peace.

Dianne Strickler

February 23, 2019

To all the family of Dr. Hoerner,

So sad to hear of his passing. He was such a vital part of ISU and agriculture education for so many years. I only took one of his classes but interacted with him often over the time of my involvement in both high school and my own teaching career. He pushed all to be better and to keep learning ourselves. His memories will provide great comfort to you all and those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Gary Bruns

February 22, 2019

This man was so much fun in class I remember no one that didn't want to take his classes - who remembers Saw Horse Judging and the OSHA hammer and . . . The number one thing people want to do in their life is leave a legacy - Dr. Hoerner - you did leave a legacy. RIP Dr. Hoerner