Westby/La Farge - Orville Clarence Clark, age 93, passed away at his apartment in Westby on November 19th, 2020. He was born June 16, 1927, to Clayton and Edith (Calhoun) Clark in Hayward, Wisconsin. He grew up in the Valley, Hillsboro, La Farge area. Wherever he lived, he developed a love of family, friends, and learning new things. He loved being able to solve problems and make the best of life.
He married Edith Erlandson on November 10th 1945. They had three children, James , Eileen, and Barb. After going to school, he enjoyed playing baseball for a Valley team that included his dad and a couple of his brothers as well as great friends in the area. Orville had a variety of jobs while working on the farm and through out his life including the Carnation Plant in Hillsboro, construction of the Mauston School, farming, cattle hauling business, selling Ellis tobacco planters, and as road repairman for the town of Stark.
They made their home on farms near Jug Creek where their door was always open to family, friends, and neighbors. Through his job with the town of Stark, he maintained the existing roads, and was active in building roads and driveways as the countryside changed in plans for the Kickapoo Dam project. He had an amazing work ethic and was always busy creating something. His Dad, Clayton, once described Orville as “jack of all trades” as he could fix almost anything.
After retiring and selling the farm, he and Edith moved to Westby and they started a lawn mowing business. They continued working as a team with this new business and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know new people. He set up a woodworking shop in his garage and he made picnic tables as well as many other wooden items. They became a part of the Church and loved helping with the Lutefisk and lefse dinners each year. Orville continued doing that after Edith passed away in 2008, as his friends and neighbors encouraged him to do so.
One of Orville’s greatest pride and joy was his Massey Ferguson tractor that he last owned on the farm. It was hard for him to sell that when they sold out; but it went to a good home and he was able to keep track of its use. For many years he had given the grandchildren rides on that tractor and he proudly displayed pictures of it in his apartment. He continued his interest in antique tractors through being a member of the Westby Antique Tractor organization.
Orville was loved by many as he was so humble and kind. He had a rare gift of walking into a room and making it brighter. He loved nothing better than sitting down with family and friends for a good cup of coffee and a visit. Staying in touch with family and friends gave purpose to the day.
After selling the house and moving to Halverson Apartments, he purchased another lawn mower and a golf cart so he could go out in the country for a ride and some fresh air. He loved going out to a neighboring farm that housed his toys to mow and take a ride on the golf cart. He always kept busy and was often seen blowing leaves off the entry way at his apartment building.
Orville is survived by his three children: James (Onalaska), Eileen (Eric) Nemec (Belleville), and Barb Edwards (Steve Hysel) of LaCrosse; three grandchildren: Paul (Amanda) Nemec (Belleville), Nicole Lenzer (Sun Prairie,) Alex Lenzer (Brodhead); four great grandchildren: Owen, Cooper, Bryanna, and Keniya; two sisters-in-law: Winnie Knadle and Evelyn Erlandson and a brother-in-law Bennie Olson as well as many wonderful nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Edith; his parents, Clayton and Edith, and his brothers and sisters: Buford, Gladys Hamilton, Mabel Kruk, Vernon, Verylyn (Berlie), Robert, and Beverly Olson as well as a great grandson Keandre Fowler.
Orville will be remembered by many for his strong work ethic and his kindness to all.
During this time of COVID -19, a graveside service with immediate family only will be held at this time at the Dell Cemetery. A “celebration of life” for Orville will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Coulee Antique Engine Club and the Town of Stark.
Vosseteig Funeral Home in Westby is serving Orville's family.
708 S. Main Street
Westby, WI 54667
June 16, 1927 - November 19, 202006/16/192711/19/2020
Orville Clarence Clark
3 Trees have been planted in memory of Orville Clark.