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Orville E. Bechtel Jr.

May 14, 1932 January 8, 2014
Orville E. Bechtel Jr.
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Obituary for Orville E. Bechtel Jr.


Ed was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, on May 14, 1932, to Arlona Lyons Bechtel and Orville Bechtel. He died on January 8, 2014, in Frederic, Wisconsin. He is survived by his wife of 53 years Mary Ellen Bechtel, and the joy of his life, daughter Amy JoAnne Bechtel Gau, and her husband Steven Gerard Gau.
Ed grew up and attended school in Grandview, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. During his growing up years, he was very active in school and musical activities. He played several instruments and was a band member. In his later years of high school, he and a partner performed a dancing, singing, comedy act for various clubs (Hed also taken dancing lessons for years. It was his mothers ideashe teased that she wanted him to be like Fred Astaire).
He was a proud alumnus of Grandview High School, Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He was and is a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. After his college years, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict.
Following his service in the Army, he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and joined the McDonald Douglas Aircraft manufacturing and maintenance facility in their electronic development and installation division.
After several years, he left McDonald Douglas to form his own electronic sales and repair company in Tulsa. He was in this business for many years, and sold it upon retirement. After his retirement, he worked part-time at Southern Agriculture in Tulsa.
Ed always had a long-term love of dogs (really all animals), and had owned and trained many collies during his lifetime. For many years he had been a very active member and trainer of the Tulsa Dog Training Club (TDTC). He and other members of the club devoted a great deal of time helping the Tulsa Dog Training Club complete a large new facility for dog shows. This larger building allowed for an increased number of training classes, and the effort helped the club gain an increased national presence in the dog training world.
His collies excelled in obedience, agility, herding, and therapy work. He showed his dogs all over the U.S. and Canada. Lots of travelling and friendships developed in the dog show world. He passed on his love of the breed to his daughter (Amy), who among other things is a collie breeder and dog show judge.
Eds collies were so well trained that they became the go-to dogs when television and other advertisers needed dogs for commercials. One of Eds nationally top rated winning dogs appeared in over 150 commercials for an ad agency.
Eds collies were well-known for their therapy work. Among the therapy assignments, Ed and one of his collies were included in weekly rehab visits at Hillcrest Hospital in Tulsa, working with head injury and stroke patients. Two of his dogs were also regularly scheduled at St. Francis Hospital in the childrens area. Many nursing homes and school classrooms were entertained by Eds dogs.
Nationally, Ed has been a member of the Collie Club of America (CCA), and an early and active member of the American Working Collie Association (AWCA).
While living in Tulsa, Ed was a member of the Kiwanis Club, focusing on outreach programs with high school students.
In 1997, Ed and Mary Ellen moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Frederic, Wisconsin. They had been spending summers at their cabin in Polk County, and loved the area so much they decided to make Wisconsin their home. Ed continued to train his dogs in the back yard and around town. He taught some beginning obedience classes for the Community Ed programs in Frederic, Luck, and Siren.
Ed and Mary Ellen were active members in their Catholic parish in Tulsa (Church of the Madalene), and continued to be active at St. Dominic in Frederic. Ed served as usher at services, doing yard work for the parish, and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed being part of the Knights crew that helped with Habitat Humanity Homes; fund raising activities that benefited the mentally and physically handicapped in Polk and Burnett County; and anything that the Knights did to improve the community.
As you can see, he was a pretty busy person during his life, but he always had time for his family, his church, and his beloved animals.
He always said, Spell dog backwards, and youll see what is important in life.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Eds favorite charities.
Collie Health Foundation:
Knights of Columbus #6370, Charity Account
c/o Bill Schoettle, Grand Knight
11143 County Road D
Grantsburg, WI 54840

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