The Fence Post obituary: Orville Marion Philpott Jr. |

The Fence Post obituary: Orville Marion Philpott Jr.

Orville Marion Philpott Jr., 87

Aug. 3, 1931 – Feb. 16, 2019

Vale, Ore.

We lost a human history book when Orville passed peacefully Saturday evening with two of his children by his side. He was born in Nehawka, Neb., to Orville Philpot Sr. and Lana Jane Bowne. He gained a brother, Arthur Elmer Phillpott, in July of 1933, another brother, Robert Roland Philpot, in March of 1936. A beloved little sister, Mary Alyce Philpot/ Clarke, showed up in July of 1937.

Orville’s family moved a lot in the early years. Orville went to schools in Nehawka; Philpot School, located between Nehawka and Weeping Water; Coburg Iowa; Memphis, Neb.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; two in Illinois; and then finishing high school in Ashland, Ore.

April of 1950, Orville rode his old motor bike to Ironside, Ore., where began his life long career of being a cow puncher. He worked for the likes of Gus Davis, Jerry Farley, Ed Anderson, Hardy Murry, Carol Locey, Fred Walters and Bill Glenn to list a few.

In the winter of 1952, while working in Burns, Ore., on the McCray ranch, Orville got his draft notice to join the U.S. Army. He had the pleasure of “visiting” Fort Lewis, Fort Hood and Fort Huachuca. He was released in 1954 from the Army.

In 1956, he met his wife to be at a dance. Orville married Lavelle Flora Bronson on July 7, 1956, in Winnemucca, Nev. Together they welcomed five children into this world, David Lee Sr., Patricia Lynn, Michael Alan, Joseph Dean and Johnathan Dale. In 1959, Orville and Lavelle bought a little place along the Malheur River, east of Vale, Ore. Then in 1961, traded that for a larger place on Fifth Avenue, north of Vale, where he resided till his passing.

Orville cow punched, built miles of range fences, milked cows for almost everyone in the Willowcreek valley, did farm work for others, drove farm truck for a lot of people, worked the feed store and the service corner in Vale, and farmed his own place and multiple rented places over the years. Orville will be remembered for his oral history and storytelling skills.

One of his few regrets was not going back to Nehawka to be with his two favorite granddads, Elmer Charles Philpot and William Jones. Orville did make it back to Nebraska, once in 1987 and again in the early 90s with his younger brother, Arthur.

Orville was preceded in death by his wife, parents, brothers and sister. He is survived by his five children, 12 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

Per his request, there will be no services. We may have a graveside when we put him and his wife’s ashes to rest at a later date at Malheur City Cemetery.

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