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Orval Lambertz

Our dad, Orval, passed away on April 7, 2020, at Avera Medical Center at the age of 93 from complications of a fall.

He was born on August 14, 1926, to John D. and Rosanna (Kappenman) Lambertz, the tenth of thirteen children and five minutes ahead of his twin brother, Oral.

Orval was raised on the family farm near Dolton, SD, where he attended eleven years of school and played basketball. He completed his senior year at Bridgewater, SD, played basketball in the state tournament and met Nona M. Jarding, his future bride.

He joined the US Navy at the age of seventeen, along with his twin brother. Orval served on the USS Wrangell, an AE 12 (auxiliary explosive) ship and helped load hundreds of combat ships in the pacific theater, while the ships were moving and in combat conditions, including the invasions of Iwo Jima and Hiroshima.

Orval married Nona on December 6, 1944, on Treasure Island in California before shipping out. Upon discharge from the Navy in 1946, they settled in Canistota, SD, where Orval lived the rest of his life. He worked briefly at the Creamery and City Bar, farmed for two years, then purchased and operated the Canistota Hatchery from 1950-1962. He was named the United States Postmaster in Canistota by President LB Johnson in 1962, a position he held until retirement in 1989.

He and Nona had thirty-five happy years together and eight children:  Carol (Riley) Williams-Las Vegas, NV, Noreen (Lester) Hagen-Canistota, SD, Charles (JoAnn) Lambertz-Yankton, SD, John (Nina) Lambertz-Canistota, SD, Cynthia (Chip) Fischer-Sioux Falls, SD, Colleen (Mary Jo Nyblad) Lambertz-Boise, ID, Julie (Wayne) Gregory-Ethan, SD , and Teresa Lambertz. They had 12 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren. Nona passed away on August 12, 1982.

Orval married Betty Parry on October 29, 1983, and we were blessed to have her and her two daughters, Debbie (Dennis) Heitzman-Spencer, SD and Charlotte (Joe) Volden-Canistota, SD,  join our family, along with Debbie’s daughters Laurie (Wim) Rosendahl-Mitchell, SD and Karin Heitzman-Sioux Falls, SD..

Service was important to Orval. After the Navy, he was a Master Sergeant in the Air National Guard from 1963-1983 and received the Outstanding Achievement Award for South Dakota. He was a 70-year member of the American Legion, a 50-year member of the Lions Club, a three-time Mayor of Canistota, a member of the Canistota City Council, school board, cemetery board, and city park development committee, a scoutmaster, and a director of the Good Samaritan Home. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Salem, SD, for many years, then St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Bridgewater, SD.

When asked what special events he remembered, he said “the births of my children” and when his great-grandchildren visited and brought in ice cream cones to eat and pets/farm animals to pet. He loved family and friends over all things and would consider them his “hobby” in retirement. He was a terrific role model and his sense of humor and ability to laugh at himself was unmatched.

Orval was preceded in death by his wife, Nona, daughters Teresa and Noreen, son Chuck, parents, and twelve siblings. We hope you are having a wonderful reunion in heaven, Dad! We will always miss you!

Due to current gathering limitations, a memorial service with be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Canistota Cemetery Association, PO Box 74, Canistota SD, 57012.

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