Orval Stuhr, a WWII Air Force engineer, was active in all phases of activities at the Veterans Home. He was president of the Residents Council, busy with projects led by local volunteers, and he particularly liked it when he joined a group called the Singing VETs. The men already knew most of the songs selected, in addition to all the military music. The group met on Sunday afternoons, along with a few veterans from town who came and joined in.
One of the men, Paul, had a friend make them each a cap with the logo of Singing VETs. What a treat that was!
Orval Stuhr knew the advantages of a good education throughout his life and developed an incredible memory of many things as they unfolded. He even kept hand written notes of special dates and occasions on a long yellow legal pad.
One day he decided to share his thoughts and get a book written for his grandson, Jason. Reading his notes it became obvious the book should be called Memories Of A Lifetime. He had a half dozen copies printed locally for family members. It read so well that it’s like having a conversation with the man himself.
Orval agreed to be in charge of taking care of all the donated books for the nursing home’s library. From then on, the books were neatly noted and shelved. Additional copies, were shared with area nursing homes.
Everyone knew Orval Stuhr during his seven years at the Veteran’s Nursing Home. Though he could no longer walk, he actively moved about on his scooter. Then suddenly he was hospitalized with that unthink-able virus that had taken so many. Within five days, he was gone.
The 96 year old was always active, well spoken, and busy with a project. He was an optimist born and bred, who began his life in Minnesota.
A Lutheran, he attended church throughout his life. Each week, his son, Terry, would come and take him to church. That’s where family, friends, and volunteers gathered to say thank you and goodbye for now.
Orval Stuhr was a man for all seasons —easy to know.
Happy in nature wherever he’d go
Encouraging friendships and doing his part
Sharing with others straight from his heart.
This Pandemic crisis we are fighting is a different kind of war. Our veterans, like all others, have been fighting it well for more than a year. It’s time for it to go.
Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.