Betty Jean Orvis|
Born: April 30, 1923
Died: Aug. 21, 2014
Betty Jean Bridgford Orvis. "Monday's child is full of grace." Betty Jean Bridgford Orvis was grace-filled her entire life, beginning at her birth. Betty was born in Graceville, Minnesota, Monday, April 30, 1923, and died peacefully in her sleep, Thursday, August 21, 2014, at the age of ninety-one. Bob, her husband of seventy-one years, was near her side.
Betty was the only child of May Anderson Bridgford and Professor Roy Oliver Bridgford. The Bridgford family resided in Morris, Minnesota, for more than fifty years which, to Betty, was truly a place of honor and reverence. Betty was bestowed the honor of co-valedictorian of the Morris High School graduating class, along with her dear friend, Claire LaFave. In 1939, Betty began attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, at the age of 17. Betty joined the Delta Delta Delta (Tri-Delta) sorority; an association she cherished and in which she was always active. Betty met her future husband, Robert Orvis, on a blind date to the Tri-Delta Spring Formal. Their romance began and continued throughout World War II, as Captain Robert E. Orvis was sent to various domestic and international Army bases. They were wed November 7, 1943, while Bob was home on leave. Bob returned to active duty while Betty was the first married woman to live in the Tri Delta house. She graduated a few months later.
Their first child, Robert E. Orvis, Jr., was born the following year, and they both lived with Betty's parents in Morris. When reunited domestically, the Orvis family lived at several Army bases. After World War II, Betty and family set up house in Mankato, Minnesota, where Bob worked for the Cargill Corporation.
Captain Orvis was extremely patriotic and told the Army, "If President Truman declares the emergency, you can count on me." In 1950, Bob was called up again by the Army for active duty. The Korean War ended in 1953, and the Orvis family began life in a western suburb of Chicago: Elmhurst. They lived in Elmhurst for 30 years, only minutes away from their son and his young family. They moved back to Bloomington, Minnesota, in 1974, due to a new opportunity and lived there until 1998. That year, they sold their condominiums in Peoria, Arizona, the Bloomington, Minnesota home, and purchased a larger home also in Peoria, Arizona; they would no longer be "Snow Birds."
Betty continued as the Tri-Delta president for several years, enjoyed golf with Bob, "the girls" at the Union Hills Country Club (she proudly earned the President's Club Championship in 1988) and attended Peace Lutheran Church.
During her last two weeks of life, Betty was too weak to talk. We would lean in and always hear her whispered words, "I love you."
Betty Jean Bridgford Orvis is and will continue to be greatly mourned and missed by her family which includes her three children, Bob, Kathy and Barbara (Orvis Hall); son-in-law, Grant Hall; two grandsons, Brian and Steven Orvis; granddaughter-in-law, Gina Orvis (Jay); great-grandsons, Alex and Kevin Orvis; and great-granddaughter, Madison.
A family memorial service and celebration of Betty's life will be held Monday, September 15, 2014, at 10:30 a.m., at Fletcher Heights Assisted Living, LLC, 22131 North 79th Avenue, Peoria, Arizona 85383.
Please visit www.menkefuneralhome.com to leave condolences.
Published in Suburban Life Publications on Sept. 5, 2014