Orval D. Friedrich
September 2, 1922 ~ January 11, 2016
Orval Friedrich, age 93 of Des Moines, IA formerly of Elma, IA passed away on Monday, January 11, 2016 at Cavanaugh House in Des Moines with his family by his side. Orval Daniel Friedrich was born on September 2, 1922 to Ernest (EW) and Alinda (Rimrodt) Friedrich of Elma. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Maple Leaf), Elma. In November 1944, after graduating from high school and working on the family farm, Orval enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II. Following his military service, Orval went on to attend Iowa State University (then, Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts), graduating in 1950 with a degree in the field of geology. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Orval served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a soil scientist in Iowa before working for three years at Monsanto Chemical Co. At this time he met Arlene June Grimm at a young Lutheran adults meeting in Minneapolis, MN. Orval and Arlene married in 1958. Shortly thereafter, they settled in Fergus Falls, MN to begin a family as Orval returned to his work as a soil scientist. After sustaining injuries in the field, Orval heeded a call to the ministry. He received Bachelor of Divinity degrees from Lutheran Brethren and Wartburg seminaries, graduating from the former as valedictorian in 1967. He was ordained at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Maple Leaf) on June 23, 1968. Orval’s role as a minister took him to congregations in North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and Arizona. Upon retirement Orval and Arlene moved to Elma, where Orval served as a vacancy pastor and as chaplain for legion and pro-life activities. He also began research and writing on the topic of biblical creation. A year ago Orval and Arlene moved to Courtyard Estates Assisted Living Communities in Bondurant to be near their children. Orval’s interests included biblical science, pro-life activities, fishing, pinochle, landscaping and gardening. In games of pinochle, he shared the Friedrich tradition of enthusiastic “table-thumping” when a good hand was played. His family’s favorite memories were times with Orval and extended family at their home in Battle Lake, MN and hearing stories from Orval’s days in the Navy. Orval is survived by his wife Arlene (formerly of Elma, now of Bondurant); children Lynette (Dan) Donner, Brenda Friedrich (Frank Kissel), and Daniel (Vicky) Friedrich all of Des Moines, and Karen Barshinger of Burlington, IA. He is also survived by sister-in-law Lois Friedrich-Flugge, of Elma, 6 grandchildren; Jesse (Katie) Donner of Chicago, IL; Leah Barshinger of Iowa City, IA; Jordan Donner of Des Moines; Camilla Barshinger of Ames, IA; Micah and Jianna Barshinger of Burlington; and 1 great grandchild, Jessica Donner of Chicago. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Loyd and Reuben Friedrich; sister-in-law Maxine Friedrich, all of the Elma area; son-in-law Carl Barshinger of Burlington; two nephews and one niece. Orval was often heard reminding all that “the best days are still ahead,” a belief repeated until his final day.