Orville Leonard Elmshaeuser, 87, a resident of Grand Haven in Eldridge, died Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at Clarissa Cook Hospice House in Bettendorf.
A Celebration of Life service was held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 19, at Park View Lutheran Church. Burial will be at a later date in St. John’s Cemetery, Ogallala, Neb. Cremation rites have been accorded.
Memorials may be made to Park View Lutheran Church, Eldridge, where he was a member, or Mission Central, LCMS, 40718 Highway E16, Mapleton, Ia., 51034.
Orville was born Jan. 23, 1934, the eldest son of Leonard and Elizabeth (Twiestmeyer) Elmshaeuser, on the family farm 12 miles south of Ogallala. His parents liked to tell the story that he cried continually for five straight days, and that he quit after he was baptized.
He attended elementary school in a one-room country school (District 7), and graduated from Ogallala High School in 1951. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Concordia Teachers College, Seward, Neb., in 1955, and his master’s from the same school in 1979.
He married Vera Jane Schulz on
Easter Sunday, March 29, 1959, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Evansville, Ind.
During his 37-year career in education, Orville served as teacher and principal at Lutheran schools in Evansville, Ind. (1955-1964), Lincoln, Neb. (1964-1980), Cedar Rapids (1980-1989) and Wilton, Iowa (1989-1992).
During his career he supervised many student teachers, was active in a men’s choir and was a Sunday School superintendent. He was a charter member of the Department of Lutheran Elementary School Principals, LCMS. He retired in 1992.
Orville was an accomplished woodworker, having built three workshops to house his countless tools, and could fix everything and anything. The 1919 and 1926 antique trucks that he personally restored were his pride and joy.
He loved helping neighbors with a wide variety of projects, and loved spending his summer vacations working on the family farm in Ogallala.
Orville was a Master Gardener and avid antique collector. He was a passionate Nebraska Cornhusker fan, and was proud to wear his Big Red gear. When not dressed in his shirt and tie for school, Orville could be found wearing his trademark overalls and either a red polka dot or Cornhusker hat.
He enjoyed giving out miniature chocolate bars to all who crossed his path, but his most popular pastime was as a master joke teller, and he was not averse to sharing those jokes with complete strangers as a way to brighten their day.
Orville was also an enthusiastic lover of choral and organ music. He took great pride in his player piano, and the hundreds of rolls he collected during his lifetime.
Most importantly, Orville was a redeemed child of God. He lived his faith, and it was an example to many. During his time as principal and teacher, he led many adult Bible studies, was a youth group leader, school and church choir director, and assisted with Sunday morning worship.
Orville loved spending time with family, and was an extremely proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He cherished time with his loved ones, and was quick to share their accomplishments and achievements in life.
Left to honor his memory are his wife, Vera; daughters, Beth (Scott) Campbell, Eldridge; Sarah (Rev. Kevin) Stellick, Rising City, Neb.; Maria (Spencer) Hansen, Lincoln; a son, Karl (Kris) Elmshaeuser, Waverly, Neb.;
Grandchildren: Addie (Mark) Akin, St. Louis, Mo.; Joshua (Angela) Elmshaeuser, Park View; Noah (Jessica) Elmshaeuser, Washington, D.C.; Zachary Elmshaeuser, Lincoln; Elijah Elmshaeuser, St. Joseph, Mo.; Hannah (Stephen) Gerling, New Ulm, Minn., Katrina Stellick, Milwaukee, Wis.; and Isaac Stellick, Rising City.
Great-grandchildren: Henry, James, Oliver and Arthur Elmshaeuser; Selah Akin and Sofia Gerling. Brothers: Roger and Norvin (Jean) Elmshaeuser, Ogallala.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Nora, and a sister-in-law, Karen Elmshaeuser.