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Oron Schmidt - February 11, 2014


Oron F. Schmidt, 95, of Castle Rock and formerly of Holyoke, died Feb. 11, 2014, at Castle Rock Hospital. Oron was born Feb. 6, 1919, in Chappell, Neb., to August and Anna (Lohmeier) Schmidt.

He graduated from Chappell High School and attended one year of college at Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University). In 1941, Oron enlisted in the United States Navy, WWII, and served through 1945 with tours in the Atlantic and Guam.

After the Navy, he returned to Nebraska and Colorado and farmed with his older brother Ervin near Chappell and Sedgwick. In 1946, Oron bought into a Studebaker dealership with his uncle Chris Schmidt in Holyoke.

On Nov. 14, 1947, Oron married LaVaun Hageman of Holyoke and had one son, Gene. In 1953, Oron bought out his uncle and gave up the Studebaker dealership. He opened an auto parts store and machine shop and operated Schmidt Motor Supply at that same location. He and LaVaun operated the business until December 1982 when they sold out and retired.

Oron was very involved in the Holyoke community, serving on the town board, the hospital board and other organizations. Oron and LaVaun were members of the Methodist Church in Holyoke.

Oron, with others, was very involved in youth baseball programs and was instrumental in starting the Babe Ruth baseball program in Holyoke. He loved hunting, fishing, playing golf, woodworking, playing cards and attending sporting events at the high school, where he very seldom missed a game.

In 1983, Oron and LaVaun moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., and began to enjoy their retired life. In 1993, they moved to Cañon City to be closer to family. In retirement, Oron enjoyed playing golf, woodworking and carving, building model radio-controlled sailboats and being with family. Bird carvings were his best work.

Oron enjoyed making many different things for the kids. Called Opa by the grandkids, great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids, he built beds, rocking chairs, rocking horses, cradles and many small carvings for them. Everywhere Oron lived, he had a workshop.

They lived in Cañon City until the death of his beloved wife, LaVaun, on March 12, 2001. Later that spring, Oron moved to Castle Rock to be closer to Gene and his family. In 2003, when Gene retired, Oron moved along with Gene and Lynn to Lander, Wyo., and lived with them for several years.

In 2007, he moved into the Wyoming Pioneer Home, which is an assisted living facility. Because of declining health, in July 2013, Oron moved back to Castle Rock to a long-term care and memory facility and lived there until his death.

Oron was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, LaVaun; his parents, August and Anna (Lohmeier) Schmidt; an older brother, Ervin; LaVaun’s sisters and their husbands, Em and Raella Poos, Otis and Lois Artman, and Rex and Dorthey Elder.

Oron is survived by his son, Gene and wife Lynn of Lander; granddaughter, Heather and husband Brad Jessee of Elizabeth; grandson, Brandon and wife Nicole of Platteville; three great-grandchildren, Lacie, Rebecca and Colton Jessee; two great-great-grandchildren, Hunter and Hadleigh; and numerous nieces and nephews from LaVaun’s side of the family.

He is truly loved and will be missed by all.

Cremation occurred, and a family graveside service and inurnment was held Feb. 15 at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Castle Rock.

A memorial has been established in Oron’s name at Fathers in the Field (a ministry established for fatherless boys), 645 Main St., Lander, WY 82520, 307-332-0901, www.fathersinthefield.com.