It has always been a revelation to me finding out all the things you didn’t know about friends or aquaintences in their obituaries! But then who is more qualified to tell the story?!
I was born October 14, 1940 in Deadwood, SD. The first of 2 boys and 3 wonderful girls born to Ross and Luella Orr. We grew up in Spearfish, SD, a few miles from grandparents, aunts and uncles, and lots of cousins! We grew up in the time period where church, love, honesty, and hard work were taught and admired and the politicians actually kept more of a National perspective instead of a Party perspective. This was probably the best time in the history of our country to grow up. Our family was into fishing, camping, hunting, sports, outdoor activities, and friends.
From 7th grade until graduation from high school I worked for a plumber (my Dad), a hardware store, and delivered newspapers. On weekends I worked for a dairy delivering milk, ice cream, butter, etc. to local grocery stores and restaurants. One summer I worked highway construction through the Badlands of South Dakota. Other summers I worked for two local trout hatcheries, and a local SD Fish and Game fish biologist. During college at Colorado State University I worked as a janitor for the Methodist Wesley Foundation and published their bulletins, was a floor counselor for a dormitory, was a cook and dishwasher at the Tri Delta Sorority, and picked potatoes and cleaned barns and chicken coops for area farmers! One summer was spent in Alaska working for the Alaska Dept. of fish and Game, and another summer attending a 10 week forestry summer camp at Pingree Park, high in the Rockies. After graduating from CSU in 1962 I worked for 38 years for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Federal Hatcheries in SD, AL, OH, IA and MT. While in SD, AL, OH, and IA I also served many years in the Army National Guard.
Diane and I were married in 1964, and in 1966 and 1968 she blessed me with two sons, Todd and Tim. We moved to Ennis, MT in 1973 where both boys graduated from Ennis High School and went on to college. Todd now lives in Bozeman working for the Forest Service and has a 2nd career known as Skybladeknives.com, and Tim is in Anchorage working for the U. S. Geological Survey as a Volcanologist. I have 3 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren now who live far away. I regret never getting to know them well, but that too is a product of our times!
During all those years between 1973 and the present we have a million memories of outdoor trips, bowling, Lions’ Club, school board meetings, Quilt Guild, Boy Scouts, church activities, and hunting and fishing. We also remember parties, dancing, fish fries, football basketball and track events, and all the trips to WY, OR, HI, and AK to see loved ones. And I remember all the times we shared with friends that made everyday life so satisfying. Many are gone now, but to all of you still around, sincere thanks for your friendship. It has been a great run and a great life on earth, and now I’m off on another journey!
In 1973 the Ennis Hatchery produced 13 million eyed rainbow trout eggs, and thanks to good employees (who I never thanked enough), the Hatchery was producing 40 million eggs when I retired in 2000. It was an exciting and busy time and I made many mistakes I’d like to rectify, but no going back! The hatchery was pretty much my life, and in later years I was inducted into the Northwest Fish Culture Hall of Fame, and The National Fish Culture Hall of Fame, a gratifying and humbling experience! God Bless you all!
I am survived by my wife Diane of Ennis, son Todd, of Bozeman, son Tim, of Anchorage, AK, sister Louise, of Ramstein, Germany, sister Chris of Corvallis, OR, sister Betty of Yuma, AZ, 3 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. There are also numerous in-laws, outlaws, nieces and nephews who I claim as family!
Please donate to the Boy Scouts of America in lieu of flowers (https://donations.scouting.org).
Services will be held Friday, November 11, at 10:00 AM at St. Patricks Catholic Church in Ennis. Interment will follow in the Madison Valley Cemetery at Ennis. Following the interment there will be a potluck reception at St. Patricks.