Orval William Lenger

COLUMBIA — Orval William Lenger died Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, at his home in Hartsburg. He was 84 years old.

He was born Aug. 7, 1925, in McKitterick to Martin and Alvena (Helmers) Lenger. He worked as an electrician and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 257 in Jefferson City.

Lenger served in the U.S. Army during World War II in his company's headquarters.

"He was the only one in the group who could type, so they put him in the commander's office," said June Lenger, Orval's wife of 24 years.

His patriotism followed him out of the military. Mr. Lenger was an active member of the American Legion Post 424 in Hartsburg, where he served as commander more than once.

"During the July 4 parades in Ashland, I would watch my husband with the flags and he would talk to people with hats on — as the flags came by, the hats came off," June said.

He was also very involved at Peace United Church of Christ where he served on the church council and was active in Sunday School.

"He never missed a Sunday," June said.

Mr. Lenger was a 59-year member of the Ashland Masonic Lodge No. 156 and the Southern Boone County Senior Center, where he served on the board of directors. He had many friends at the Senior Center and loved to play pool and cards.

"He loved pie, any kind of pie," June said. "When he wanted me to bake him a pie, his voice would change: 'Will you make me some pie?'"

Mr. Lenger and June married in 1985. They met at a Parents Without Partners Dance.

"I didn't care to go," June said. "I called it the 'Losers Ball.'"

While dancing, Mr. Lenger asked June if she was healed from her divorce, and she said no. He replied that he would call her in six months, "And he did," June said.

When June's brothers first met their future brother-in-law, they said he was a man of conviction and that he was true.

Mr. Lenger always longed for the "good old days" when people knew their neighbors, cared for them and settled disagreements with a handshake.

"It was the value system he was raised on," June said.

Mr. Lenger is survived by his wife; three sons, Dale Lenger of Ashland, Lenard Lenger of Tipton and Denis Lenger of Jefferson City; two daughters, Patricia Pickett of Columbia and Karen Spry of Harrisburg; a stepson, Christopher McKee of Germany; a stepdaughter, Teresa McKee of Billingham, Wash.; a brother, Harold Lenger of Arvada, Colo.; a sister, Mary Mense of Washington; 16 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Peace United Church of Christ, 121 N First St., Hartsburg, followed by a Masonic service at 7 p.m. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Peace United followed by burial in Frieden's Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Lenger's memory may be sent to the Peace United Church of Christ Benevolent Fund, 121 N First St.
Hartsburg, MO 65039.