Orville Deardorff (1926 - 2014)

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Orville Deardorff


Funeral Mass for Orville Deardorff, 87, of Bagley, Iowa will be 11:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2013 at St. Patrick's Catholic in Bayard, Iowa. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Greene County, Iowa. Visitation will be after 1:00 pm Tuesday, at Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home in Jefferson with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm with a Vigil Service to follow at 7:00 pm. Memorials are suggested to the family and may be left at Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home in Jefferson.

Orville Keith Deardorff joined his wife, Rita, in heaven on January 18, 2014. Orville was born September 9, 1926 on a farm southwest of Bagley, Iowa to Fred and Lucille Griffin Deardorff. He attended country school at Dodge #6 and graduated from Bagley High School in 1944. Orville joined the United States Army, serving in Korea and Camp Hood, Texas. He enjoyed touring Texas on his green Harley Davidson.

After returning from service in August 1947, he met the love of his life, Rita Rose Gruber, when she crossed the street to use the restroom while attending a dance in Bayard, Iowa. They were married on January 13, 1948 in the Annunciation Church Rectory in Coon Rapids, Iowa. There were many fun trips on that motorcycle before the kids came. Four children were born to this union: Mike in 1949, Mickey in 1950, Cindy in 1953, and Chris in 1956.

Orville farmed with his Dad southwest of Bagley, Iowa until 1957 when he took a job with Central Iowa Milling and the family moved into Bagley. The Herndon location needed a manager and Orville took that position. The elevator burned in May 1958, was rebuilt, and he managed that elevator for the Pillsbury Company then Continental Grain until he retired in August 1991. Orville was instrumental in getting a paved road through Herndon to make it easier for customers to bring their grain to town. Many friendships developed over so many years in business. Rita was office manager later, and they worked together for 25 years.

After retirement, Orville kept busy volunteering in the town of Bagley. He was in charge of the water meters, reading and replacing, and served on town council for 16 years. He was also active in the Lions Club.

The years went by and Rita kept making afghans to give away, but not until Orville took a picture of every one of them. They found plenty of time to sit on the front porch and enjoy each other's company. When Rita became ill, he cared for her for years at home. Orville showed us what true love really is. When Rita passed away in May 2013, he was never the same. His sun had quit shining.

Orville was a quiet, kind man with a big heart. We are so blessed to have had him for our Dad and to have had wonderful parents who really loved each other for 65 years and beyond. He was loved by all and will be missed.

Orville was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Rita; granddaughter Makenna Bartel Heaney; and a sister Sandy Hamlin.

Orville is survived by his children: Mike (Carolyn) Deardorff of Brighton, CO, Mickey (Duane) Frantum of Jamaica, IA, Cindy (David) Bartel of Leawood, KS, and Chris (Steve) Johnson of Jefferson, IA; 3 sisters: Dolores (Charlie) McNeill of Bagley, IA, Charlotte Stanley of Elgin, IL, and Judy (George) Knapp of Panora, IA; brother-in-law: Don (Katy) Gruber of Balsam Lake, WI; other relatives and friends; grandchildren: Laura (Chris) Wining and their children Peyton and Emily of Windsor, CO, Kimm Deardorff and her son Sage of Denver, CO, Chad Frantum of Bayard, IA and his children Collin, and Cailey of Panora, IA, Shane (Leslie) Frantum and their children Joe and Anna of Grimes, IA, Tina Kafer and her children Colby and Makala of Jamaica, IA, Devon Bartel of Lawrence, KS, Craig (Tiffany) Johnson and their children Noah, Gretah, and Bellah of Jefferson, IA, and Jenn (Eric) Aubrey and their children Madisyn, Gage, and Hannah of Paton, IA; other relatives and many friends.

Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home, Jefferson, Iowa


Funeral Home
Slininger-Rossow Funeral Homes, Inc.
119 West Lincolnway
Jefferson, IA 50129
(515) 386-2171
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Published in Des Moines Register on Jan. 21, 2014
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