Obituary Details

T/Sgt James "Jimmy" Marlin Gorley Jr.

(07/12/1921 - 07/04/1951)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 07/05/1951

Young Rancher Takes Own Life With Shot Gun

James M. Gorley, young rancher who is associated with his father, James W. Gorley on a ranch near the Nebraska-Wyoming border northeast of Van Tassell, took his own life Wednesday evening by shooting a charge through his head.

Sheriff Ben Brown and Coroner George Earl Peet were at the ranch most of Thursday making an investigation and only meagre details were available at the Herald press time.

According to the first reports of officers, the man came home in the evening threatening to take his life, and it was thought all guns were gotten out of his reach. However, he obtained a gun in an outside shed and came into the house, sat down and fired the fatal shot.

The Lusk Herald
July 12, 1951
Services for Jim Gorley Held at Harrison Saturday

Funeral services for Martin James Gorley were held Saturday aftenoon, July 7, at the Harrison Methodist church with the Rev. Carl Harbour officiating. A military ceremony was conducted by the V.F.W. of Harrison at the graveside with interment at the Harrison Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Art Keller, Mike Kilmer and Jake Davies of Lusk, Ernest Hales and Grant Seifert of Harrison, and Robert Grisham of Midwest. Honorary pallbearers were Rudolph Hartman and Earl Grote of Harrison. Music at the services was provided by Mrs. Bill Coffee, singing the solo "We'll Never Say Goodbye in Heaven" and Mrs. Samuel M. Thomas and Miss Phyllis Johns singing the duets "Ivory Palaces" and "Someday We'll Understand," with Mrs. Dale M. Bardo, accompanist.

Jimmy Gorley, as he was known, was born to Mr. and Mrs. James W. Gorley, in Harrison July 12, 1921. He spent his childhood at Midwest, where he graduated from High School with the class of 1939. He attended Sunday School and the Youth Fellowship at the non-denominational church at Midwest. He was a Boy Scout and a member of the Covered Wagon Troop 12. He was a Life Scout and an assistant Scout leader. He spent two years farming and working on ranches.

On Sept. 12, 1942 he volunteered for the U.S. Army. He received his training as an airplane mechanic at Shephard Field, Tex. and O.T.U at McDill, Fla. His embarkation was from Hunter Field, Ga. to Sacramento, Calif., and the South Pacific Theater. He was a member of the Fifth Air Force. He received the Air Crew Badge and Wings. He took part in the air offensives in Japan, New Guinea, Southern Philippines and the Ryukyu. His decorations were American Theater, Asiatic-Pacific Theater, Philippines Liberation and seven battle stars. He was twice wounded and spent four months in the hospital. He attained the rating of technical sergeant as flight engineer in the Air Force. He was discharged at Ft. Douglas, Utah Dec. 24, 1945 after serving three and one-half years.

He was united in marriage to Gertrude Kuhn of Lusk at Chadron, Nebr. To this union one daughter, Marlene, was born.

For the past three years he had been engaged in farming and ranching and he was successful in this work. He had not been well since his discharge from the service and underwent an operation two years ago. He was hospitalized several times this spring at Chadron, Nebr. for severe gallbladder attacks.

He was a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge of Midwest, Wyo., American Legion Post of Lusk, and the V.F.W. Post of Harrison, Nebr. He was a member of the Harrison Methodist Church. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

He leaves his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James W. Gorley; a sister, Mrs. L.M. Thomas; a daughter, Marlene; aunts, Mrs. Mary Knori, Mrs. Tom Plunkett, Mrs. Tom Seifert, Mrs. Tillie Lewis and Mrs. Martha Newell.

Jim died the evening of July 4 about 10:15 after shooting himself through the head with a .410 gauge shotgun at the family ranch near the Nebraska line. He had been drinking during the day, seemed in a crazed condition, and all efforts to quiet him had failed.

Images & Attachments

Photo used with permission from photographer Jim Sheaffer, Nebraska Gravestones.

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Gorley, James (08/05/1882 - 02/19/1952) View Record