Orville Riddle's Story

Orville the Builder

Orville Riddle could build anything, and he was good at teaching others how to make things. These skills served him well as an industrial arts schoolteacher and later as a foreman for a custom home building company. His passion for teaching and helping others extended into coaching his son’s baseball team for many years, girls’ softball and volleyball, and boys’ golf at Cache La Poudre Middle School in Laporte, Colorado. He loves teaching and molding young minds and said, “I had five kids, ensuring that I’d still have a job teaching!” He also enjoyed helping others and spent many hours volunteering at church, nursing homes, and delivering food to those who couldn’t get out of their homes. 

Active from a Young Age

Since an early age, Orville was always active. He played golf and caddied for other golfers. In high school, he participated in football, baseball, wrestling and swimming. As he got older, his love of sports continued. He continued to golf and played softball, but also fished, hunted for fowl, and played poker. When he wasn’t busy watching sports or playing them, he traveled. He’s taken some wonderful Elderhostel trips, including one to Europe to tour England, Ireland, and Scotland. Closer to home, some of his favorite travels are fishing trips with his five children and going to golf tournaments.

Military Service

Orville proudly served as an aviation radioman (ARM) in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1943-1945, and he received a medal for rescuing soldiers caught in floods on the Yukon River. While in the military he traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, California, Washington, Alaska, and Cuba. He even flew patrol over the Aleutian Islands toward Russia. He said, “It was great to serve in a beautiful country with wonderful men. We had lots of fun even though serving during World War II.” He also said the food was always good; Cookie would serve them steak when they returned to base. He still loves to eat. If you want to get on Orville’s good side, bring him homemade biscuits and gravy or any pie with ice cream on the side. He also loves eggs and whiskey with 7-Up or diet Mountain Dew. Just don’t bring him peas or rice. He has a good sense of humor though and won’t hold it against you if you did.

Orville's Love and Legacy

Orville married the love of his life, Betty, on November 20, 1948, and was widowed after an amazing 65 years of marriage in 2013. Betty worked as a homemaker and administrative assistant at Blevins Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado. They have five children: daughters Bonnie, Jean, and Marian and sons Andy and Bill; and nine grandchildren: granddaughter Monica and Laura and grandsons Matthew, Brian, Kevin, Dan, Chad, Knox and Hogan who live throughout Colorado, Montana, Kansas, Kentucky and Arizona. He also has 14 great grand children.