Gene Emerson Morokoff, of Montclair, formerly of Indianapolis, died on Jan. 21, 2018, at Gates Manor in Montclair at the age of 92.
A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair on Thursday, March 1, at 5 p.m. followed by interment of ashes at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 2, at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery in Wrightstown.
Mr. Morokoff was married for 68 years to Lorraine Frances Morokoff, who died in November 2017.
Mr. Morokoff was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was a staff sergeant in the United States Army Air Force in World War II in the 97th Bombardment Group, 342nd Squadron and flew 35 combat missions in the Mediterranean theater. He was awarded six Bronze Stars and the Air Medal. In addition he received a certificate of valor in recognition of his achievements. He was an aerial gunner, flying ball turret in a B17 airplane. After the war ended, he returned home to continue his education and graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he met his wife. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois. He published in the Journal of American Folklore. He served on the faculty in departments of English at Eastern Illinois State University, Purdue University and Northwestern Louisiana State University and on the editorial staff of the Saturday Evening Post.
Mr. Morokoff was the son of Paul Morokoff, the dance producer and choreographer, and Allene Palmer of New York City. He is survived by three daughters, Patricia and her husband, Michael, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, Dawn of Cincinnati, and Carol of Boonton; two sons, David of Las Vegas, and William and his husband, Benjamin, of Montclair. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Sarah, Christine, Aaron, and Seth.
Gene spent his last several years at Gates Manor, where he was beloved by the staff.