Friday, April 12, 2024

Orville Lee Thorn

| March 8, 2024 7:00 AM

Orville Lee Thorn, 86, passed away peacefully of natural causes at the Shaw Mountain Hospital Facility in Boise, Idaho on Feb. 27, 2024.

Orville was born in Polson, Montana on Nov. 15, 1937 to Jenny (Pat) and Orville L. Thorn Sr.

In 1959 he married fellow Marine Lorraine Bishop of Stoughton, Massachusetts, the mother of his children Carol and Wayne.

He spent his early years in Libby, Montana where he attended Libby Public Schools. At the youthful age of 17, “Orv” joined the United States Marine Corps where he proudly served our nation for 20 years. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War having served three tours there and returned as a decorated and distinguished 1st Sgt. He honorably retired in 1975 and returned to his favorite place on earth, the Yaak River Valley.

Though he now had plenty of time to fish and hunt, he was not ready to be “retired” from serving his country and his community. He joined the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office staff as the Undersheriff to Ray Nixon and dedicated another 20 years of his commitment and expertise to serving his God, his beloved State of Montana, the people of Lincoln County, his family and many friends across the USA. 

Orville was a Master of Libby #85 Masonic Lodge, a member of the Scottish Rite Shriners, a life-long member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Libby Elks Club, the NRA and a member of the Montana B.A.S.S. Association.

As engaged as he was in serving others, he did find “those peaceful moments of “self- reflection,” as he fished his favorite Yaak River and countless other bodies of water between the Canadian border and the Gulf of Mexico. 

His “fish” stories brought hours of entertainment for all those who were lucky enough to share in his life’s adventures. It goes without saying that the fish fry dinner at the end of a day on the river, was the “icing on the cake.” Often the evening ended with a “knuckle down” game of pinochle. With a grin on his face, he reminded everyone at the table that this “card time” was serious” business” and he was out to win!

His wife, Lorraine; his infant son, Russell, his sister, Carla Gardner; and his parents, Orville Thorn, Sr. and “Pat” Thorn Jeffries preceded him in death.

The families who will forever cherish the memories of a life well lived include his daughter Carol Snapp and her husband Larry (Nampa, Idaho) son, Wayne (Sydney, Montana), half-sister, JoDee Thorn, step brother, Frank Widic, step brother Mark Jeffries and his wife Cassie (Portland, Oregon), nephew Rick Gardner, his daughter Kayla Meyer and daughter Sari Ashbaugh (Portland, Oregon) grandchildren, David Gray (Houston, Texas), Gina Carter (Hartford, Connecticut), Melanie Kroshus and her husband Chris (Meridian, Idaho), Brodie Snapp (Mobile, Alabama), and great-grandchildren Jaxon, Dane, Lyla, Claire, Sidney and Madison. 

It would be impossible to list all the people who delighted in Orv’s love and companionship over the years including his Wisconsin “Thorn” family, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends from across the United States and beyond.

A Celebration of Life service for Orville will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Christ Lutheran Church, 200 W. Larch St., Libby, Montana. Immediately following the service, military graveside services will be held at the City of Libby Cemetery. 

At the completion of the committal service, please join the family for refreshments back at the church fellowship hall.

The staff of Schnackenberg Funeral Home, Libby, Montana are handling the final wishes and arrangements for the family.