Orman Kielmeyer, 97, of Fergus FallsPublished 9:17am Tuesday, September 24, 2013 Updated 11:18am Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Orman Kielmeyer, 97, of Fergus Falls, died Tuesday, at Woodland Lodge in Fergus Falls.
Orman was born on Sept. 12, 1915, in Fergus Falls, the son of Herman and Minnie (Juhnke) Kielmeyer. He grew up there where he attended school through the eighth grade.
At the age of 18, Orman began working in the auto shop at Minnesota Motor Company where he drove the wrecker “Minnie the Mighty.”
At Minnesota Motor, he was nicknamed “Dooley,” which stuck with him the rest of his life.
Few knew that his real name was Orman.
Later he owned and operated South Mill Standard, for several years, with his brother-in-law, Earl, before building the Lakeland Motel in 1950, which he operated until 1965.
After selling the motel, Orman worked for Bunge Farms in Redwood Falls and worked road construction for several years until his retirement.
Music played an important part in Orman’s life. He was introduced to the accordion as a teenager.
Orman never took a music lesson and played only by ear, unable to read music.
In his 20s, he helped form a dance band called the Rhythm Kings and played throughout Minnesota and North and South Dakota.
At one of those gigs he met Kathryn, the lady with the red shoes, fell in love with her and they married in 1938.
Orman was a member of the Fergus Falls Elk’s Lodge and was the Lodge’s organist for more than 50 years.
Some of his favorite memories arose from fishing trips to Canada with friends and family, including his son, Keith, grandsons and son-in-law, Bob.
He was a charter member of the Catch and Release Club and treasurer of the Night Crawlers zappers.
Other favorite activities were cribbage, buck euchre, gardening, picking chokecherries, raspberries and strawberries and playing music for shut-ins with his buddy Jack Savoy until age 95.
Orman was Mr. Fix-It for his friends and neighbors and always had time to help someone out. He was especially fond of 2 California gentlemen, named E & J.
Orman was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Erwin, Frank, Lloyd, Wallace and Vernon; and sisters, Violet, and Lucille; and wife, Kathryn.
Survivors include his son, Keith (Mary) Kielmeyer of Fresno, Calif.; daughter, Cheryl (Robert) Sefkow of Fergus Falls; grandchildren, Cristen Shuck, Laura Sefkow, Joanna Sefkow, Rory (Reanin) Kielmeyer, Chad (Julie) Kielmeyer, and Tyson (Kelly) Kielmeyer; and great-grandchildren, Annaliese, Hannah and Claire.
Memorial services are planned at 11 a.m. Saturday, at First United Church of Christ. Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to service at the church.
Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls is in charge of arrangements.