Orville F. Niehaus, 81, of Centralia, passed away at 10 a. m. Saturday, July 20, 2013, at his home in Centralia.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. with a two hour viewing prior to the service today, July 24, at Friedens United Church of Christ, Irvington. Burial will be in Friedens U.C.C. Cemetery. Visitation was from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Pagel Funeral Home, St. Peter. Memorials may be made to the South Central Sport Benefit or the donor’s choice.
Orville was born on Nov. 15, 1931, in rural Farina, the son of Louis and Alma (Wachholz) Niehaus. He married Carolyn Virginia Soldner on June 9, 1950. He married Mary Helen Sligar Fortmeyer on Nov. 29, 1974, in Baton Rouge, La.
In the fall of 1950, Orville started his career with Ging & Co. He was the feed mill manager from 1953 until 1959, when he assumed various responsibilities associated with the rapidly expanding grain business. He became an owner in 1962, serving the corporation as secretary-treasurer. He continued his work with Ging & Co. until June 1973. In the summer of 1974, he began managing Brown Produce Company’s elevator in Iola, which is now Clay County Grain. He retired from Clay County Grain in May 1993 after 43 years of service to the grain and feed industry.
Orville was a director of the State Bank of Farina from 1958 to 1973. He was the mayor of Farina for six years and served a total of eight years on the town board. He also served as a school board member at LaGrove High School for several years. He was a member the Centralia Elks Lodge, Centralia Moose Lodge, Farina Masonic Lodge and the Irvington Ruritan Club.
In childhood, he lived between Farina and St. Peter with six sisters and two brothers. He attended St. Peter Lutheran Grade School and Farina LaGrove High School. Orville was a loving husband who enjoyed his family. His passion in life was working in the grain elevator business and working with the area farmers. He enjoyed spending time at Lake Centralia with family and friends and retirement at Woodhaven in Sebring, Fla.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Helen Niehaus of Centralia; sons, Gary (wife, Becky) of Bloomington, and Mike (wife, Pat) of Effingham; two stepdaughters, Carla (husband, Randy) Van Ness of Inverness, Fla., and Karen Fortmeyer of Stuart, Fla.; grandchildren, Eric (wife, Brooke) Queen of Palm Bay, Fla., Kevin (wife, Katy) Niehaus of Little Rock, Ark., Scott (wife, Amanda) Niehaus of Troy, Amy (Brian) Lipe of Salem, Stacey (husband, Vone) Boualavong of Chatham, and Ryan Niehaus of Boulder, Colo.; stepgrandchildren, Rachael (husband, Ken) Hall, Helen Van Ness and David Van Ness, all of Florida; five great-granddaughters, Samantha, Sarah, Mikayla, Abbey and Emma; one brother, Clarence (wife, Charlotte) Niehaus of Carbondale; and five sisters, Velva (husband, Elden) Fisher and Melinda Perry, both of Vandalia, Iva Burgess of Salem, Fern (husband, Glen) Richmann of Green Castle, Ind.; and Jane (husband, Jim) Ballough of Lebanon, Ky.
Orville was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Carolyn Virginia Niehaus; one brother, Leon Niehaus; and one sister, Wilma Ambuehl.
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