Merle Hacker was born in 1935 in Jacksonville, Florida. She attended high school in Jacksonville and was the first one in her family to go to college. Merle went to the University of Florida for two years and then met her husband, Sonny, in 1952, while he was in the U.S. Navy stationed in Jacksonville. They married in 1954 and Merle began teaching kindergarten. She moved to Dallas with her husband and children in 1968, where she has been an involved member and supporter of the Jewish community. Merle has been a board member of Congregation Shearith Israel, working on its membership committee, was very active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, and also formed the first girls’ basketball league in the community.
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I just listened and watched the wonderful interview with Merle Hacker, a friend since we moved to Dallas in 1982 who was connected to us by mutual friends Irwin and Ellen Shafranek. A party or a brunch wouldn’t really start until Merle and Sonny Hacker arrived.
Merle is so full of life and laughter that i didn’t know that she has had family who were lost in the Holocaust. Her taped interview is so invaluable because she is someone I know personally who is alive who can link me to direct knowledge about the murders of her family in Europe. She also brought WWII to me in sharing the loss of one of her relatives who served in the war. I can better understand how authentic her love for our country is having watched the interview now when I read her postings on social media.
She is surely a ” menschalah.”