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James Orvis
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James L. "Jim" Orvis, 77, of Farmington passed away Thursday, Aug. 28 surrounded by his family at Serenity Hill, following a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

He was born Feb. 26, 1931 in Stockton to William Snow Orvis and Grace Harper Orvis. He married his high school sweetheart, Marianne Stadler, in 1950. He graduated from Oakdale High School in 1948 and attended College of the Pacific and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He returned to the historic Snow Ranch to continue the family cattle ranching business, which was his life long work and passion.

Mr. Orvis was very active in many organizations. He was inducted into the Oakdale Cowboy Hall of Fame with his brother Bruce and was a member of the charter class of the Oakdale High School Sports Hall of Fame with his entire family. He is a past recipient of the Cattleman of the Year Award for the San Joaquin-Stanislaus Cattlemen's Association, where he also served as President and a State Director for the California Cattlemen's Association.

He was a founding Director for the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association and served for many years on the California-Nevada Hereford Association Board of Directors. He was also a Past President of Reclamation District 548 in the Stockton Delta and a Trustee and Clerk of the Board of the Rosedale School District. Mr. Orvis and his wife were also members of the Supper Club, which recently celebrated its 51st year together.

He was especially devoted to his family and is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marianne; daughter Janet Orvis (David) Cook of Valley Springs; sons Jim (Susan) Orvis and Bob Orvis of Farmington, Mike (Deb) Orvis of Atascadero, and Tom (Melinda) Orvis of Oakdale; grandchildren Francesca and Dominic Orvis of Oakdale, Marc Orvis of Farmington and Ashley Orvis Johnson of Land O' Lakes, Florida; and brother C. Bruce (Roma) Orvis of Farmington.

He was preceded in death by his father William Snow Orvis, mother Grace Harper Orvis, brother William Snow Orvis, Jr. and his sister Bette Orvis Cooper.

Mr. Orvis was a true gentleman. Webster defines a gentleman as "a courteous, gracious man with a strong sense of humor." He epitomized this description with a touch of class and dignity throughout his life and even in his last days, as his caregivers can attest.

The family wishes to say a special thank you to Aleni and Juris Albani at Serenity Hill for the loving care they provided in his last month of life.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, Sept. 3 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Oakdale Memorial Chapel, 830 West F St., Oakdale.

Services will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1225 Olive St., Oakdale on Thursday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Oakdale Cowboy Museum, 353 East F St., Oakdale, CA 95361.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

Sept. 3, 2008