2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Orville George Sovereign was born in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota on September 11, 1924 to Robert and Eva, the fifth of six children. He grew up across the street from the town high school but spent most summers working on his uncle’s farm so he considered himself a farm boy. He graduated from high school in 1942 and headed west to Tacoma, Washington where he began his career with the Northern Pacific Railroad. His love of trains was born! He retired from Burlington Northern Railroad in 1985.
Orville was a storyteller! One of his favorites was how he met a terrific ice skater at the Lakewood Ice Arena. They became good friends. When he joined the Army and left for Korea, she took care of his affairs. After his return, he married that friend, Lily Johnson, on January 26, 1952.
Orville loved his Lord. As a member of Tacoma Bible Presbyterian Church, he served as ruling elder, Sunday school teacher and superintendent, Daily Vacation Bible School leader and choir member. His love of trains was evident as children earned cars for each passage of Scripture memorized and recited with the caboose earning them their first leather bound Bible. DVBS memories include cowbells, filling his truck with kids and singing songs. No youth camp at Bitterroot Lake was complete without his boat for rides and skiing. Later years found him in the kitchen peeling potatoes and washing pots and pans. He served the church with his wise counsel and prayers until his homegoing. To say that he loved the Tacoma church and its people would be an understatement.
Orville loved his family and friends. He supported and was proud of his three daughters and all of their accomplishments. He loved his grandchildren, taking them camping as a rite of passage to entering kindergarten. The arrival of each great-grandchild was a cause for celebration.
Orville was ALWAYS BUSY! In his “spare” time he maintained his yard and at least five others to perfection. If there was a church project he was there, especially if it involved paint! There wasn’t a room at 5 South G that didn’t bear evidence of his handiwork. And one of his great desires was to get to worship in the new facility before the Lord took him. That privilege was denied him, but he took an interest in every step of the renovation and work going on there and wanted to be constantly updated so he could pray for the process.
Orville was a devoted caregiver to Lily in her last years and a testimony to his faith. When asked where he wanted to be, his response was immediate; “HOME!” His Lord brought him safely there on Saturday, November 3, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Lily. He is survived by daughters Lou Rhea Crapson, Cynthia Luebke (Glen), and Debra Frey (James); nine grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren and his sister, Eva Mae Powers.
Psalms 40:1-4 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. (2) He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. (3) He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD. (4) Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.