Orville Edwards: 1935-2020
Orville Roy Edwards was born August 6, 1935, in Sturgis, SD, and peacefully passed at his home, with family by his side, in Vale, SD, on Thursday, April 2, 2020.
Orville was a man among men. He was a role model and a positive voice in a world that can sometimes be so negative. Despite all of the medical issues he had the last 5 years of his life, Orville remained strong, hopeful, and joyful. He smiled whenever he could and enjoyed the company of his friends and neighbors. Even in his last days, he was able to smile and make a joke. We truly loved him and were inspired by him.
Orville grew up on farmland east of Vale, SD, where his parents began farming in 1935, near the land that was settled by Orville’s grandparents, Charles and Ella Edwards and Joel and Hilda Eskola in 1907.
Orville attended the Empire School for eight years and graduated from Vale High School in 1954. In his school age years, Orville was involved in helping his father farm, in 4-H, and once the Vale Lutheran Church was established in 1950 (his family is charter members) he was active in Luther League and the church itself.
After graduating from high school, Orville attended SDSU, with one of his most memorable times being in the choir’s performance of “The Messiah”. He was involved in ROTC in college and was later in the United States Army for two years.
Orville was in California working and attending community college when his father began having health issues. So, he came back to South Dakota to help on the farm. He continued to farm and help his dad and mother until they passed away. Eventually, Orville’s farming encompassed 465 acres, 380 of which were irrigated. He grew corn and alfalfa, fed cattle, and raised sheep and pigs. Orville was an excellent farmer, always trying new methods and sharing his expertise whenever asked.
Orville was very involved in his community. He was a board member of the ASCS (now Farm Service Agency) for approximately 30 years, a member of the Farm Bureau, Butte Electric, Lutheran Brotherhood, community Bowling Leagues, a council member of Vale Lutheran Church, and the Vale Cemetery committee.
Orville met his wife, Kathy, through her Godmother, Lillie Holst. They were married on December 25, 1981, in Newcastle, WY.
Orville liked traveling, fishing, waterskiing, snowmobiling, and motorcycle rides. He loved driving through the machinery lots checking on the new machinery, whether locally or on a trip. He also liked to work on old machinery and was able to do most of his own repair work. His favorite things later in life were fishing, playing cards, having coffee at the Vale Store, and riding his Goldwing tricycle around the Black Hills.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Kathyrn (Schuldies) Edwards; his two stepdaughters, Connie Garner of Newell, SD, and Robbie Cupps (James), of Boise, ID; 5 grandchildren, Shane, Autumn, and Amber Garner, and Jamie and Mattie Cupps; 3 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Charlotte Pauley (Eugene) of Claremore, OK, and Carolyn Ruff (Robert) of Vale, SD; two nieces, Trudee Coughlin (William) of Evergreen, CO, and Wendee Henry (Rodney) of Claremore, OK, and their families; and many, many cousins, and, of course, cat extraordinaire, Patches.
He was preceded in death by his father, Vernon Edwards; his mother, Helen Edwards; nephew, Robert Joel Ruff; and son-in-law, LaVerne Garner.
In addition to the many friends and neighbors who have been kind and generous to Orville, the family would like to thank Monument Hospital Hospice for helping us through the last few days, especially Nurse Amy. We’d also like to thank Mike Grubl and his family for their support and love.
A Celebration of Life will be held this summer when all can gather and enjoy each other’s company and share many wonderful stories of Orville Roy Edwards.
A memorial has been established in Orville’s name to the Vale Volunteer Fire Department.
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