Orval P. Thackrey, 93, of Geneseo, died Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at Good Samaritan Village Nursing Home, Geneseo. A funeral service celebrating his life was held Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Vandemore Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Geneseo. Burial will follow in Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline where military rites were accorded by Geneseo VFW Post No. 5083. A visitation was held Monday, Feb. 25 at the funeral home. Memorials may be left to the Orval Thackrey Memorial Fund.
He was born on Jan. 28, 1920, in Sunshine, Iowa, the son of Charles and Wilma (Brown) Thackrey. Orval had five sisters and two brothers. At the age of 20, he married Ermal Louise Ullrick on Feb. 1, 1941. Orval and Louise had four children and were married for 72 years. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and served in the Pacific Theater until he was discharged in 1945. After that, Orval and his family came to Cordova, later moving to Geneseo where he remained until his death.
He worked in coal mines and farmed his youth in southern Iowa. After World War II, he worked farming and construction, was a machine operator, a mechanic for several garages and then went on to own and operate a full-service gas station in Orion for several years. Following that, he worked for a couple of construction companies doing mechanic work on heavy equipment and also operated and drove trucks. Orval retired but continued to work doing lawn care and snow removal until he was 85 years old.
Survivors include his wife, Ermal Louise; one daughter, Marilyn Gutierrez; three sons, Ron (Lynn) Thackrey, Mike (Becky) Thackrey and Tim Thackrey; nine grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; 16 great-great grandchildren; and two great-great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, five sisters and two brothers.