Orville E. Gobber, age 90, of Manhattan, died October 18, 2019, at Meadowlark Scenic House in Manhattan, KS.

He was born December 29, 1928 on a farm near Elk Creek, Nebraska. He was the second child of five born to Otto and Emma Gobber. Orville was baptized and confirmed at St. James Lutheran Church and attended Elk Creek High School.

After high school he attended Peru State Teachers College and graduated with a degree in Industrial Arts Education. Later he received a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.

He began his 40 year teaching career in Hersey, NE, and moved to Manhattan in 1952 where he taught Industrial Arts at the High School and later Manhattan Jr. High School.  He made available the opportunity for an adult night school class where community members and local artisans used the metal shop at MJHS to work on projects. He enjoyed spending time with many retired teacher colleagues taking day trips and attending MAREA (Manhattan Area Retired Teachers Association) meetings.

During the summers Orville worked with construction crews building houses, remodeling projects, building cabinetry and furniture. He especially liked restoring wooden or metal items fabricating missing parts to make a piece complete. Orville was a very gifted craftsman and took great pride in his work. One can find many pieces of handmade furniture in his children’s homes. Orville also enjoyed making pens and clocks. He was a member of the Kansas Quality Woodworkers Association where he could converse using specialized wood working vocabulary that everyone understood.

Orville was an active member of First Lutheran Church beginning in 1953; he served on the building committee and helped oversee many projects. He was a head usher and greeted people with a smile for many years. He enjoyed attending the men’s prayer breakfasts. Orville could always be counted on to help solve a problem by repairing it or building a replacement.  

On August 10th   1950, he married Erma Ehlers who he met at Luther League events. Together they demonstrated commitment to family, a strong work ethic, and Christian values.  He liked to attend his grandchildren’s concerts, sporting events, recitals and various activities. He especially liked it when his grandchildren asked him to help them make something in his own shop.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Erma, of Manhattan; four children:Beth Gobber Olson (Bill) of Lindsborg, KS, Neal Gobber (Jan) of Hutchinson, KS, Jana Gobber Goin (Charly) of Ogden, KS, and Kaye Gobber Hendricks (Chuck) of Manhattan; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; three siblings: Bob Gobber (Vicky) of Gretna NE, Ilma Gottula of Tecumseh NE, and Eldonna Forrest of Plattsmouth NE; and many nephews and nieces.

Orville was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Raymond, and by two sons: Kent and Cary.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday, October 22nd, at the First Lutheran Church, 930 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, with Reverend Liz Kocher officiating.  Interment will follow in the Sunrise Cemetery in Manhattan.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Monday, October 21st, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to either Camp Tomah Shinga for renovations or the First Lutheran Church Property Committee.  Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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