James Stanley Orbeck

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James Stanley Orbeck was born Aug. 7, 1923, in Clifton, Texas, to Otto C. and Esther Valborg Estrem Orbeck. He was the fifth child of five children born to this couple. His Mother died when he was eighteen months old and his Father passed away when he was six, leaving him and his siblings to live together at the Orbeck home with the mothering influence of their aunt, Miss Anna Estrem. James was Baptized and Confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, a few blocks south of the family home. He remained a Lutheran all of his life . James graduated from Clifton High School in 1941 having played quarterback for the Clifton Cubs and continued his education at Clifton Junior College before volunteering for service in WWII. All four brothers served in the armed services during WWII, with James joining the Navy in 1943. Upon returning from the South Pacific and serving as a Pharmacists Mate after his discharge in 1946, James returned to Clifton College for his education and transferred to The University of Texas at Austin to earn his BA degree and his Masters degree in Education. His first teaching position was at Killeen, where he taught two years before moving to Odessa, with Ector County Independent School District. He taught at Odessa High School and later at Permian High School for a total of 37 years. He taught Texas History and found pleasure in knowing and teaching about the progress of this great state, and also taught Science and Chemistry. In addition to teaching, he sold life insurance for American Amicable Co. as an agent and developed a business career which he enjoyed. He especially appreciated interacting with clients and made many friends. James was a fan of good music and studied piano under the direction of Mrs. Travis Bass. He learned to play the classics and played quite beautifully. It was usually for his own pleasure but others enjoyed his music when they were fortunate to hear him at the piano. James married Betty Wingate in Austin, Dec. 25, 1951 at First English Lutheran Church. They had one child, Mark Lindsley Orbeck. They were members of Redeemer Lutheran Church where James was very pleased to be a part of Church activities. He and his wife Betty, were actively involved with the Permian Basin Historical Society. His one true hobby, carpentry, enabled James to build his first home with the help of two carpenters. James was also involved in the American Legion and Veterans Of Foreign Wars. He was a promoter of “Texas Boy’s State”, offered by the American Legion which sponsored this program that enabled High School boys to attend the Legislature to gain first hand knowledge of the workings of the State Capitol, for one week each summer. During this work in Odessa, he was responsible for sending several hundred qualified boys to Austin for this honor. Later, when he moved to Clifton, he continued this volunteering and sponsorship of a number of boys along with the local American Legion to give this opportunity to a limited group, for several years. He was most proud of this achievement and gained the admiration and appreciation from the students and the parents, as well. In the Veteran’s groups, James was often Chaplain and also proudly spoke at the annual Memorial Day services at the cemetery in Clifton. After retirement from teaching, James moved back to his hometown, Clifton, and met and married Jewel Lambert Norris in September 1990, at Immanuel Lutheran Church. They lived in the Oak Run addition until her death in 2006. James moved to Mansfield, Texas to be near his son and resided in a retirement home until his death Monday Feb. 3, 2014. Preceding him in death were: First wife, Betty, second wife, Jewel, sister, Evelyn Orbeck Jackson, brothers, Joe, Lloyd and Dan. To mourn his passing: son, Mark Orbeck, grandsons, Richard Orbeck, Travis Orbeck; Jewel’s children, Linda Fehler, Randy Smith, sister-in law Mary Orbeck, nephews, J.R. Jackson, Joe Orbeck, Morris Jackson and Dan Orbeck, Jr.; and nieces: Dianne Orbeck Duvic and Dale Orbeck Van Sickle. Serving as Pall Bearers were Doyle Fehler, Zack Fehler, Brandon Hoff, Dan Orbeck,Jr., Travis Orbeck, Richard Orbeck and Mark Orbeck. Funeral services were at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Clifton, Texas with Brian McQuiggin officiating. Organist and soloist was Mrs. Deborah Canuteson. Interment was at the Norse cemetery, Our Saviors Lutheran Church. Arrangements by Clifton Funeral Home of Clifton.
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