Cover photo for Alfred Joseph Hoerth Jr.'s Obituary
Alfred Joseph Hoerth Jr. Profile Photo
1931 Alfred 2020

Alfred Joseph Hoerth Jr.

December 29, 1931 — October 21, 2020

On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, Alfred J. Hoerth of Hope, Idaho, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away at age 88.


Al was born in December 1931 to Alfred Sr. and Charlotte (Ranes) Hoerth. During the Korean War, Al served in the Air Force as a communications officer on a B-29 Superfortress weather spotter. Educated at the University of Chicago, he went on to become a field archaeologist with the Oriental Institute in Chicago, digging in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan and traveling extensively around the world. He met his wife, Bette, while teaching in Jerusalem and described her as, “the best thing I ever brought home from the Holy Land.” He taught archaeology at Wheaton College in Illinois for 29 years, and wrote or contributed to several books on archaeology. Other hobbies included reading, photography, cheering on his beloved Chicago Cubs, and chasing the squirrels away from the bird feeder. He was also known for his dry sense of humor and love of puns.


Al was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister, Charlotte. He is survived by his wife, two children, Carl (Beth) and Cathe, four grandchildren, Carlie, Aimee (Cline) York, Rachel, and Liam, and one great-grandson, Joseph York. A memorial service will be announced in coming weeks. Memorial donations may be made to Wheaton College or to WFMT Radio in Chicago.

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