Orvie Lee Townsend of Duluth, Minnesota, died peacefully on Sunday, July 7 at St. Luke’s Hospital Hospice, with family at his side. Orvie lived at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay for his last 18 months, due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Orvie was born in Spencer, South Dakota to Muriel and Arthur Townsend. In 1951 Orvie married Myrna Paulson and they raised six children together.
Orvie served in the US Navy, and was very proud of his ship, the Arnold J. Isbell. In 1959, Orvie received his BA degree from General Beadle State College in Madison, SD. He taught school for one year, and after moving from South and North Dakota in 1961, worked at Skelly Gas Station in Duluth, then spent his career life as a social worker for St. Louis County Social Services. He never stopped working.
Orvie married Bette Mickelson, and they lived a happy life together, traveling, renovating their homes, spending time with their families, and spending their winters in Mission, Texas. In 1998, Orvie and Bette lost their home in Spencer to a tornado and moved back to Superior, Wisconsin and Duluth.
Orvie enjoyed meeting new people, and had many friends from Mexico and Petrozavodsk, Russia. In 2008, Orvie traveled with his son to Russia for five weeks, and had many fond memories of that trip. He enjoyed traveling, wood carving, building and fixing things, riding his motorcycle, and spending time with family. He was a member of First Covenant Church in Lincoln Park, Duluth.
Orvie was preceded in death by his Son, Randy and Daughter, Jill; parents, Arthur and Muriel; brothers, Fred, Darryl and Frank.
He is survived by his wife, Bette; his children, Deena (David), Richie (Tammy), Chelly (John), Steve (Jenny); step-children, John, Wendy, Lori, Jeff (Faye), Steve (Ann), and Hank (Pamela); 20 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; brother, Mike (Kaye); and many nieces and nephews. Orvie loved all of his family very much.
Memorial service: Friday, July 12 in the Cremation Society of Minnesota Chapel, 4100 Grand Ave., Duluth. 2:00 visitation, 3:00 memorial service, with refreshments immediately following.
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