Orville (Orv) Evanson, age 101, of Wausau, passed away peacefully June 14, 2020.
Orv was born March 13, 1919 in Argyle, WI to the late Edwin and Syneva Brieseth Evanson. He attended schools in Greenwood and Granton and graduated from Neillsville High School in 1937. After graduation he worked in Minnesota building R.E.A. electric lines and later returned to Neillsville to work at Zilk Villa Buick Service.
Orv married Florence Miller on October 12, 1941, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Neillsville, and they spent their early married life in Neillsville. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served for four years. He went to aviation school and was transferred several times, training for numerous assignments and served as a propeller specialist and torpedo bomber engineer during World War II. After his discharge from the Navy, Orv worked in the wholesale auto parts business in Neillsville for 18 years, which lead to a transfer to Wausau where he managed stores in Mosinee, Schofield and Wausau until his retirement in 1984. He was an excellent auto mechanic and was always ready to lend a hand to his family, friends and neighbors with his mechanical skills.
Fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and flying were some of Orv’s favorite pastimes. He loved aviation and attained his dream of owning various types of aircraft (Taylor Craft/Aeronica/Cessna and a Mooney Mite). In 1965, he flew a Mooney Mite into the Wausau Airport, one of the smallest factory-built aircraft to ever land in Wausau at the time. He was a member of the American Legion Montgomery Plant Post 10 and served as president of the Sons of Norway Lodge 5496 in Wausau.
In 1967, Orv and Florence, along with Orv’s parents Edwin and Syneva, went on an extensive trip to Norway traveling throughout the country visiting their homeland. Orv and Florence traveled to all 50 states in the U.S. and numerous countries outside the U.S. Orv was privileged to be on the first Never Forgotten Honor Flight out of CWA to Washington, D.C. to visit historical sites and to view the World War II monument. A legacy stone in his honor was laid by his family at the High Ground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville.
Orv was dedicated to his family and will be remembered for maintaining family ties and friendships and for sharing stories of his younger years.
Orv was preceded in death by his wife Florence in 2015 and were blessed with 73 wonderful years together. He was also preceded in death by his parents; brother Stanley and wife Ena; sister Agnes and husband Arne Matheson; and brother Roland.
Orv will be deeply missed by his two sons, Dennis (Linda) and Duane (Anna); one grandson, Mark (Dawn); one sister-in-law, Dawn; and nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Orv’s life will be held Tuesday, June 23, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Wausau. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. Social distancing guidelines will be practiced. Interment will be at the Neillsville Cemetery following the church service.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Wausau Manor for their compassion and loving care given to Orv during his stay.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials be directed to Our Saviors Lutheran Church.
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