Charles A. Orvis

charles orvis
Charles Orvis, age 74, of Lawler, IA died of natural causes peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Charles Albert Orvis was born on September 23, 1938 at rural New Hampton, IA, the son of Haskel and Anna (Kjarvik) Orvis. Charles was raised with a strong Norwegian upbringing on the Kjarvik family farm north of Lawler by Anna’s parents, Knut and Bessie and her brothers and sisters, Jack, Bud, Elmer, Clara and Louise. He was baptized and confirmed at Crane Creek Lutheran Church (Immanuel) of rural Lawler where he was a lifetime member. Charles attended country school at Utica #4 which is located at the corner of the Kjarvik farm. He attended New Hampton High School graduating in 1956. On June 3, 1961, Charles was united in marriage to Karen Hilbert at First Methodist Church, Waterloo, IA. They were blessed with four children. Charles worked at several jobs in Waterloo before heading back north to work with his uncles, Jack, Bud and Elmer on the family farm. On December 5, 1961, Charles was inducted into the US Army. He trained in Colorado and in California where Karen joined him. They moved to Ft. Hood, TX where Jack was born in 1962. He was fortunate to have strong math and typing skills as this landed him a military clerk’s job. He was discharged from active duty in September 1963 and served in the reserves for four more years. He returned to join the family farm operation where David, Tim and Karla joined the family. Most people knew him as Charlie or Chuck whether it be at the sale barn, slow pitch softball, bowling, deer hunting, fishing, sporting events, the coffee shop, or maybe an occasional card game. Charlie especially enjoyed organizing the annual fishing trip to Canada at Booi’s Fly-In Lodge. Charlie enjoyed being a farmer, especially raising cattle. He loved catching up on the news with his friends every morning for coffee at the Hole in the Wall and Bucky’s and then off to Little Turkey for cards. He battled many health problems since 1999 which forced him to quit actively farming and move to Lawler with Karen in 2006. He may have moved off the farm but his heart never left it. He checked the markets on his daily trip to C.A.S.H and helped out his sons on the farm whenever he could. He enjoyed spending time with his family and especially shined as “Grandpa Charlie”. Charlie is survived by his wife Karen, of 52 years; his children Jack (Verna) of Lawler, David (Arleen) of Calmar, IA, Tim (Tina) of Lawler, and Karla (Steve) Gilbert of New Hampton, IA; ten grandchildren Sarah (Kyle) Renn, Amanda (Barry) Reicks, Rachel Orvis, Michelle and Kaitlyn Orvis, Ethan and Jonah Orvis, and Kayla, Nolan and Ben Gilbert; five great grandchildren Jack and Abel Renn, Jaila and Amelia Reicks and Addalyn Nesbitt. He is also survived by his two sisters, Beverly (Gene) Johnson of Waterloo and Connie (Denny) Gewecke of Vinton, IA; and aunt Emma Rolfes of Keystone, IA; along with his in-laws Bill (Jean) Hilbert of Waverly, IA, Don (Teresa) Hilbert of Ankeny, IA and Marcia Hilbert of Manchester, IA. He is preceded in death by his parents, Haskel and (Kathy) Orvis and Anna Orvis, grandparents, his uncles and aunts, Jack, Bud, Elmer, Clara and Louise Kjarvik, Sally and Jim Schares and Leo Rolfes, as well as Karen’s parents, Harry and Margueritte Hilbert and his brother-in-law Rick Hilbert. Cemetery: Burial will follow the funeral service on Friday at Crane Creek Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family. Visitation will be held from 4:00-8:00pm on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in New Hampton, IA and will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Friday. Funeral services for Charles will be held at 10:30am on Friday, August 2, 2013 at Crane Creek Immanuel Lutheran Church located at 2616 140th Street, Lawler, Iowa with Pastor Vincent Fricke officiating.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Blessings and condolences to you all in this difficult time. may the assurance of the salvation won by Jesus at the cross and the love of friends and family be source of hope and consolation.

  2. Dell and Dean have many memories of good times spent with Charlie and Karen. Dean especially remembers boyhood experiences, through high school, and adulthood. We will miss Charlie. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  3. I have many fond memories of Charlie. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time. The write up was very appropriate, and very Charlie.

  4. Karen and family, I was saddened to read about Charlie. I always enjoyed the hunting trips Rick and I made to the farm. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

    1080 KELLY DR.

  6. To the Orvis family, I have many fond memories of Charlie on the farm, at church, and at family celebrations. He was definitely proud of his family. May God’s peace surround you and comfort you in your time of loss.

  7. Jack, so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad..Please accept my heartfelt sympathies to you and your whole family.

  8. We wish to offer our condolence to Karla and the rest of the Orvis family. We want you to know that we are thinking of you. Take care. Duane and Pam.

  9. We wish to offer our condolence to Karla and the rest of the Orvis family. We want you to know that we are thinking of you. Take care. Duane and Pam.

  10. My deepest and most sincere sympathies to the entire Orvis family at this time. May God bless and comfort you in the days to come.

  11. My sympathiies to you and your family,Karen. May God give you and your wonderful family strength to get through this difficult time. God be with you.

  12. To the Orvis family and to all of Charlie’s friends, what a great person we have all lost…Charlie was always so much fun to wait on at the FSA office and we always enjoyed visiting with him about what was happening out and about! Loved his smile and sense of humor, enjoy the memories!

  13. Karen.
    I am not sure if you remember me but I was Jack Fosters wife.We also went through school together and Avis and Myrle were real good friends of your parents.Its been along time since school. Jack passed away 12-26-2010.What a loss that is and I understand what you are going through.Take one day at a time.Remember the good times.I remember Jack would take you to school in his yellow convertible.Saw a lot of your brothers.Wish we
    could go back to those days.They were so simple compared to now.Jack and I retired in 1999 and moved to Seminole Florida to be with our daughter Lisa and granddaughter Nichole.Nikki graduated this year from high school and is going to college next week.I remember the house on 2nd street and then just a short walk to your house.Do take care and I am thinking about you.

    Sandy Foster

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