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Orville Thiel

September 10, 1917 — September 17, 2012

Orville Thiel

Funeral service for Orville Thiel, age 95, of Wheaton, Minnesota will be held on Thursday, September 20, 2012, at 11:00 A.M. at the First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton with Rev. Darrell Boe officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service on Thursday. The organist will be Nancy Krenz. Internment will be in Wildwood Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Okoto Torti, Obasi Torti, Steven Thiel, Rodney Thiel, Bob Thiel, and Curtis Thiel. Honorary pallbearers are Andrew Thiel and Aka Torti. Orville Frederick Thiel was born on September 10, 1917 to Otto and Frieda (Pflueger) Thiel of Moran Township, Todd County , Minnesota. He was the eldest of five siblings, was raised on a dairy farm and attended rural school. He was active in 4-H and the Moran Methodist Church. After graduation from Bertha High School, he studied agricultural engineering at the University of Minnesota for three years. When Lockheed came recruiting for workers in its aircraft plants, Orville signed on and moved to California. Seventy years ago on June 10, 1942, he married Viola Ruth Tyrrell at the Batavia Church of Christ in Todd County. In 1944 he was drafted into the United States Army and served in Japan. Upon discharge he and his brother Gerald rented land in Walls Township and began grain farming. No more cows for him! During these years they designed and built many of their own farm implements, including a self propelled corn picker, a revolving crop dryer, a snow blower, a rock picker and other kinds of equipment before they were commercially available. Orville was an active 4-H leader and served in various capacities at the First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton. He was an avid photographer and did his own photo developing. He enjoyed playing the violin, square dancing, playing cards and working on all sorts of puzzles in addition to tinkering. When he was 60 years old, he took flying lessons, obtained his pilots license and flew his own plane until he was no longer able to hear well. He was a gentle man and a gentleman. Orville passed away on September 17, 2012 at the Traverse Care Center in Wheaton. Orville Thiel is survived by his wife Ruth of Wheaton: daughter Geri Torti of Madison of Madison Wi; son Kent Thiel (Katrina) of Chelsea Mi; seven grandchildren: Okoto Torti, Melissa (Daniel) McMahon, Obasi (Alice) Torti, Steven (Amy) Thiel, Andrew Thiel, Aka Torti, Anne Thiel; six great grandchildren: Rose Torti, Aka Torti, Maria Torti, Alice Thiel, Kingston Torti and Claire McMahon. In addition he is also survived by his brother Joyce Thiel of Staples, Mn and numerous nieces and nephews, especially Rodney (Theresa) Thiel and Bob (Gail) Thiel of Dumont. Orville was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Gerald and Robert Thiel, and one sister Roberta Dubbels. "When we think of those companions who travelled by our side down life's road, let us not say with sadness that they left us behind, but rather say with gratitude that they once were with us. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota.
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