Orvale Jacob Widick, 93, of Farnam, Nebraska, died on April 16th, 2019 at Hilltop Estates in Gothenburg, NE.
He was born May 7th, 1925 on his Mother’s birthday, 3 ½ miles east of Farnam, NE. He was the son of Grover Cleveland and Myrtle Rose (Clayton) Widick. Orvale lived his entire life in the Farnam area with the exception of one year when his parents moved to Gothenburg. He graduated with the Class of 1942 and was the last surviving member of that class.
Orvale married Barbara Jeanne Lantz on November 26th, 1947 in Gothenburg, Nebraska and they were married 65 years. They met when Barbara came to Farnam to teach school. After 10 years of marriage they were blessed with three babies in the span of a year, twin daughters, Glenda and Paula and then a son, Andy. They were blessed with another daughter, Carol, three years after Andy.
Orvale began working as a carpenter with his Dad after High School and then began trucking with his brother Bill. They hauled cattle to Denver and Omaha.
When his brother left the business to farm, he started managing the new Farnam Elevator and began farming west of Farnam. In 1961 he became the Farnam Postmaster and retired after 31 years. He also had cattle from 1961 – 1988.
Orvale was very civic minded and active in his community. He belonged to the United Methodist Church in Farnam, the Farnam Lions Club, and the Cozad Elks Club. He served on the Farnam Town Board and was on the first Gothenburg Hospital Board. He also helped form the Farnam Alumni Association and the Homecoming Committee. He spent many hours helping to write the Farnam History Book and helped with the 75th and 100th Celebrations for the town of Farnam.
Orvale was always very phyiscally active and walked to the Post Office and to his Barn whenever he went there. In the past few years he had a goal of walking 12 blocks, twice a day, with the aid of his walker and was happy to report to his children when he achieved it. During his life time he also enjoyed bicycling, family cook-outs in the pasture, gardening, his team of draft horses and wagon, decorating for Christmas, putting up hay, and especially his cattle.
Survivors include twin daughters, Glenda (Danny) Kipp of Keenesburg, CO, Paula (Doug) Klein of Moorefield, NE, son Andy (Karen) Widick of Moorefield, NE and daughter Carol (Paul) Pagel of Kearney, NE; along with nine grandchildren; Austin Klein, Candace Klein Broz, Katie Pagel, Andrew Pagel, Olivia Klein McCain, Jacob Widick, Scott Kipp, John Kipp, and Jenna Widick. Great-grandchildren include: Acelyn and Braxton Klein; Makenna, Jackson, Blakely, Colston, and Klayton Broz; and Parker and Brooks McCain, and many nieces and nephews.
Orvale was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Widick, parents Grover and Myrtle Widick, brothers, Merle, Bill, and Ellis Widick and sister Elaine Williams.
Funeral Services will be held at the Farnam United Methodist Church, on Monday, April 22nd, 2019 at 11:00 am with Pastor Neil Kloppenborg officiating.
Private Interment will be in the Farnam Cemetery; Farnam, Nebraska.
Memorials may be given to the Farnam Rescue and Rural Fire Department, 319 Main Street, Farnam, NE 69029 or to the Farnam United Methodist Church, 308 Caribou Street, Farnam, NE 69029.