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Orville Louis GattonMay 14, 1927 ~ August 3, 2017 (age 90)
Orville L. Gatton, 90, of Eldora, Iowa died at his home on Thursday, August 3, 2017 while under the care of Iowa River Hospice. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 7, 2017 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Eldora, Iowa with Father Tony Kruse officiating. Burial will follow at Eastlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery in Eldora, with graveside military Rites conducted by the Iowa Army National Guard Honor Guard and the American Legion Walter-Sayer Post #182 and the V.F.W. Roll-Harless Post #3974 of Eldora. A visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Monday. Arrangements were made with the Creps-Abels Funeral Home in Eldora. Online condolences may be made to the Gatton family at www.abelsfuneralhomes.com
Orville Louis Gatton was born May 14, 1927, in Decatur County, Iowa to Ralph J. and Mary A. (Boyce) Gatton. He was the youngest of three children. Orv grew up in rural Decatur County, receiving his grade school education in a one room country school. He graduated from Leon High School in 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of World War II. Following W.W. II, he enlisted in the Iowa National Guard in 1949, where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in 1954, and retired in 1968 with the rank of Major. Orv was united in marriage at the Holy Trinity Church in Des Moines, Iowa on June 2, 1951, to Marianne Elizabeth Spellerberg of Fairmount, North Dakota. To this union three children were born, Deborah, Mary Jo, and David.
Orv graduated from Drake University on August 27, 1954, with a degree in Business Administration. He began working for Phillips 66 Petroleum Company in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1959, Orv and his family moved to Eldora, Iowa, where he had purchased the Eldora Oil Company. It was operated as Orv’s 66 Service until it sold in 1988. Orv continued to deliver fuel and gas to Phillips customers until January of 1995. He had been associated with Phillips 66 Co. for over forty years.
Orv was a charter member of the Eldora Jaycees and was its President in 1962-1963. He was a member of the Eldora Chamber of Commerce for twenty four years, serving two years on the chamber board and was the Treasurer in 1967. His memberships also included, United Way of Eldora for eight years, serving as President for two years, Eldora Rotary Club for Nineteen years, serving as President from 1974-1975. Orv served two years on the Eldora City Council from 1970 -1971. He was a long time member of the American Legion Post #182 and the V.F.W. Roll-Harless Post #3974 from 1975 to 2017. Orv also served on the Hardin County Veterans Affairs Commision. He was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, serving on several committees during his 50 plus years as a member of St. Mary’s Parish. He was a charter member of St. Mary’s Knight’s of Columbus, being elevated to a membership in the 4th degree, receiving his Gold Life Time Membership Card in 2013 from the Knight’s of Columbus. Orv and Marianne were a popular couple in the central Iowa square dancing clubs. They attended three different national square dance conventions and several state conventions. Dancing and playing card games was a part of life for Orv.
Survivors include his loving wife Marianne of Eldora, IA; daughters, Deborah (Jeff) Hall of Kansas City MO; Mary Jo (Jim) Plantan of Bloomington, MN; son, David (Cheri) Gatton of Star, ID; six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren; and his sister, Mary Rohr. Orv was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Roger of Leon, Iowa.
Memorials may be directed in memory of Orville Gatton, to Dorothy’s Senior Center in Eldora or Iowa River Hospice in Marshalltown.