ELDORADO — Orval Neal Edmiston, 91, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, March 11, 2010, in Eldorado, Texas. Service was held Sunday, March 14, at the First Baptist Church of Eldorado with graveside service following in the Eldorado Cemetery under the direction of Kerbow Funeral Home.
Orval was born on Feb. 21, 1919, in Eldorado, Texas, to E.N and Idella Edmiston. Orval was married to Charlene Mund Edmiston on April 18, 1942, in San Angelo, Texas. He was a devoted husband, father and Papa. Orval was a graduate of Eldorado High School and was a proud member of the undefeated 1938, Regional Championship Football Team. He continued his education at Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater, Okla.
At an early age, Orval broke horses and day worked for many ranchers in the Concho Valley area during the depression. In 1941, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 26, 1945, at Fort Bliss, Texas. Orval and Charlene then returned to Schleicher County to pursue a ranching and business career. In 1957, Orval was elected Sheriff of Schleicher County, serving loyally for 31 years. He and Charlene raised their five children in the original Schleicher County Jail. During this time, he continued his lifelong love of ranching. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Eldorado, a member of the Eldorado Masonic Lodge for 63 years, serving as treasurer for 54 years, a member of the American Legion Post 257 and a lifetime member of the Sheriffs' Association of Texas in which he held the office of president and continued to serve on the board of directors.
After his retirement in 1988, he continued actively ranching until his death. He also served as a director of the Federal Land Bank Association, a member of the Southwestern Cattle Raisers and Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Associations. Through many activities and countless hours of community involvement, Orval was loved and respected by many he came in contact with and touched numerous lives in a positive way.
Orval was preceded in death by his wife; parents and daughter Chris E. McCravey; two brothers, W.F. and Billy Gene; one sister and brother-in-law, Shine and Rudy Spigarelli; and one great-granddaughter, Riley Pence. He is survived by four sons and daughters-in-law Brian and Loretta, Phil and Wanda of Eldorado, Joe Max and Marty of Mertzon and Jim Bob and Trish of McCamey; and a son-in-law, Chris McCravey also of Eldorado. Papa was blessed with 17 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and a host of extended family and friends. Honored pallbearers will be Orval's eight grandsons Neal Edmiston, Todd Bilbrey, Cory Edmiston, Carter Edmiston, Justin Edmiston, Cody McCravey, J.R. Edmiston and Coby Edmiston. His granddaughters, June Fritz, Lori Sexton, Denise Pence, Mandy Brooks, Kari Garrett, Shanna Nail, Makenzie Fryar, Kayla Hubble, and Brittany Henning will serve as honorary pallbearers. Memorials may be made to the West Texas Rehab, Eldorado Masonic Lodge, First Baptist Church or a charity of your choice.