John Orndorff

Friday, September 6, 2019
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John Orndorff, 88, passed away in Bozeman on Aug. 28, 2019. He was born Feb. 20, 1931 in Laurel, Montana to Walter and Anna (Hayden) Orndorff, where he became one of seven children.

John attended Laurel High School and then received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington. He attended the University of Michigan, where he earned a Master’s degree in Meteorology. Later, he also earned a Master’s degree in Education from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

John enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1951, serving 28 years and retiring as a Major. He completed Officers Candidate School and was commissioned in 1957. He received an accommodation medal for Army Support to the 1st Armored Division in Germany. He also provided support to I-CORPS group in South Korea, Aero Space support at Vandenburg AFB, California and at Patrick AFB in Florida. He assisted in 33 Minutemen missile liftoffs. Major Orndorff was most proud of his last five years in the U.S. Air Force (1974-1979), when he was at the Range Measurement Lab at Kennedy Space Complex.

April 23, 1955, John married Patti Robinson at Pine Creek Methodist Church. They had two daughters, Susan and Merri.

As a young man he was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad. After retiring from the Air Force, he became Chief of the Alternative Renewable Energy Program in Helena. Later on, he served as City Manager of Livingston, twice.

John was an avid, longtime stamp collector, enjoyed working in his garden and was active in his community. He was part of the founding committee for Livingston Sister City Exchange Program, Livingston Masonic Lodge member, Shriners of Livingston (president for 11 years), Livingston Elks Lodge #246 and assisted in starting Habitat for Humanity in Livingston. As an Elk, he was Exalted Ruler in 1989 and Livingston Lodge Elk of the Year in 1990.

John is preceded in death by Walter and Anna Orndorff; siblings Lamar, Maxine, Junior, Anita, Alberta and Donna; and by one great-grandchild, Riley.

He is survived by his wife, Patti Orndorff; daughters Susan Johnson and Merri Ketterer; seven grandchildren, Andy, Shannon, Kelli, Herb, Terry, Emily and Corin; and seven great-grandchildren, Gavin, Olive, Brennan, Lily, James, Scarlett and Mila.

A Memorial Service will be held Sept. 7, 2019 at noon at Holbrook United Methodist Church. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will then take place at the Elks Lodge in Livingston.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane, https://donate.lovetotherescue.org.

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