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Published December 24, 2012, 12:00 AM

Orville Eugene Lea

Orville Eugene Lea, 86, of Rapid City, passed away on Tues., December 18, 2012 at Rapid City Hospice of the Hills after a lengthy illness.

Orville was born August 5, 1926 in Britton, SD to Obert and Ella (Haverly) Lea. He graduated from Kidder High School in 1944. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1944, serving on the U.S.S. Hansford in the Pacific and was honorably discharged in 1946 as a WWII veteran.

Orville Eugene Lea

Orville Eugene Lea, 86, of Rapid City, passed away on Tues., December 18, 2012 at Rapid City Hospice of the Hills after a lengthy illness.

Orville was born August 5, 1926 in Britton, SD to Obert and Ella (Haverly) Lea. He graduated from Kidder High School in 1944. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1944, serving on the U.S.S. Hansford in the Pacific and was honorably discharged in 1946 as a WWII veteran.

Orville and Phyllis Moore of Kidder, SD were married on June 12, 1947, having two children by that union, Connie Jo and David Orville. In 1955 they moved to Montana. Orville worked in the grain business for his entire career, working in Chester, Ethridge, Inverness and Havre, MT, as well as Moorhead, MN where he retired. In 1997 Orville and Phyllis moved to Rapid City.

Throughout his life, Orville participated in local community activities; he coached Little League and served on the PTA Board. His philanthropic environment was centered around his membership in the following organizations: Fraternal Masonic Order, Order of Eastern Star, and Shrine. He was past Worthy Matron of Moorhead Eastern Star, and past President of the Arab Patrol of El Zagal Shrine in Fargo, ND.

Survivors include his daughter, Connie Jo Berdass and husband Jeffrey of Brooksville, FL; his grandson, Matthew David Harmoning and great granddaughters, Gabby and Zelda Harmoning, all of St. Paul, MN; and two sisters, Mary Wold of Rapid City and Gladys Britzius of Austell, Georgia.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Phyllis in 2011; his son, David Orville in 1957; one sister, Ione Barber; and three brothers, Lowell, Eldeen, and John.

Orville's family and friends always felt welcome and warmth with his quick smile and gentle ways. Every niece and nephew has a special memory of a time or a moment shared with Uncle Orville. His heart was big and generous and he gave very special love to many.

Memorial services are set for 2:00pm Sat., Dec. 22 at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City with the Rev. Bruce Thalacker officiating. Inurnment will take place at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis at a later time.

A memorial has been established. Friends may sign Orville's online guestbook at www.kirkfuneralhome.com.

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