Orville F. Niehaus (81) of Centralia


Published on July 23 2013 9:46 am

Orville F. Niehaus, 81, of Centralia, passed away at 10:00 a. m. Saturday, July 20, 2013 at his home in Centralia, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a. m. with a two hour viewing prior to the service on Wednesday July 24 at Friedens United Church of Christ, Irvington, IL, with burial in the Friedens U.C.C. Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Pagel Funeral Home in St. Peter.  Memorials may be made to the South Central Sport Benefit.

Orville was born on November 15, 1931, in rural Farina, the son of Louis and Alma (Wachholz) Niehaus. He married Carolyn Virginia Soldner on June 9, 1950. He married Mary Helen Sligar Fortmeyer on November 29, 1974 in Baton Rouge, LA.  In the fall of 1950, Orville started his career with Ging & Co. He was the feed mill manager from 1953 until 1959, when he assumed various responsibilities associated with the rapidly expanding grain business. He became an owner in 1962, serving the corporation as secretary-treasurer.  He continued his work with Ging & Co. until June 1973. In the summer of 1974, he began managing Brown Produce Company‚Äôs elevator in Iola, IL, which is now Clay County Grain. He retired from Clay County Grain in May 1993 after 43 years of service to the grain and feed industry. Orville was a director of the State Bank of Farina from 1958 to 1973.  He was the mayor of Farina for six years and served a total of 8 years on the town board. He also served as a school board member at LaGrove High School for several years. He was a member the Centralia Elks Lodge, Centralia Moose Lodge, Farina Masonic Lodge and the Irvington Ruritan Club.  In childhood, he lived between Farina and St. Peter with six sisters and two brothers. He attended St. Peter Lutheran Grade School and Farina LaGrove High School.  Orville was a loving husband who enjoyed his family.  His passion in life was working in the grain elevator business and working with the area farmers. He enjoyed spending time at Lake Centralia with family and friends and retirement at Woodhaven in Sebring, Florida.

He is survived by his wife Mary Helen Niehaus of Centralia, sons: Gary (wife Becky) of Bloomington, Mike (wife Pat) of Effingham, two step-daughters: Carla (husband Randy) Van Ness of Inverness, FL. and Karen Fortmeyer of Stuart, FL. Grandchildren: Eric (wife Brooke) Queen of Palm Bay, FL., Kevin (wife Katy) Niehaus of Little Rock, AR., Scott (wife Amanda) Niehaus of Troy, IL., Amy (Brian) Lipe of Salem, IL., Stacey (husband Vone) Boualavong of Chatham, IL, and Ryan Niehaus of Boulder, CO.  Step-grandchildren: Rachael (husband Ken) Hall, Helen Van Ness and David Van Ness all of FL. Five great-granddaughters: Samantha, Sarah, Mikayla, Abbey and Emma. 1 brother: Clarence (wife Charlotte) Niehaus of Carbondale and five sisters: Velva (husband Elden) Fisher and Melinda Perry, both of Vandalia; Iva Burgess of Salem; Fern (husband Glen) Richmann of Green Castle, IN.; Jane (husband Jim) Ballough of Lebanon, KY.

Orville was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Carolyn Virginia Niehaus, one brother Leon Niehaus, and one sister Wilma Ambuehl.