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RUDYARD - Orville Kenneth Solum, 71, of Rudyard died Saturday, Dec. 6, 2003, at a Kalispell nursing facility. He was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago.

A funeral service will be 3 p.m. Monday at Alliance Church in Chester. Burial with military rites will follow at the Rudyard Cemetery.

Orville was born on May 29, 1932, at Joplin to Edwin and Karen (Spaberg) Solum. He grew up on the family farm south of Inverness and received his early education at the Rathbun Country School. He finished his education in Rudyard and graduated from Rudyard High School in 1951.

In October 1951, Orville enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to serve during the Korean conflict. After basic training in Texas, he was stationed in Denver, where he worked as a medic and made several air-vac flights to Korea. he was later transferred to Biloxi, Miss., where he was trained in radio and Morse code communications. He earned several medals during his four-year stint in the Air Force.

On March 25, 1953, while home on leave, Orville married Mary Ellen Patrick. Following his honorable discharge in October of 1955, they returned to Montana. Orville began working for his in-laws on the Patrick farm north of Rudyard. He also raised cattle and hogs and did meat processing as a sideline.

Orville served on the Farm Bureau board and the Goldstone and Rudyard school boards and was a lifelong member of the NRA.

During their early years, the Solums attended Grace Church north of Rudyard. The transferred their membership later to the Alliance Church in Chester, where Orville served on the building committee and helped in the construction of the new church. he also served on the music committee.

Orville had a passion for music. He played baritone and sang in high school. Over the years, he sang in various duets, quartets and cantatas at weddings, funerals and other community events. His other interests included carpentry and woodworking. He enjoyed raising his vegetable garden each year and was a good cook. During his quiet time, he liked to read Western book and watch old Western movies. He enjoyed working with horses, cattle and other livestock, and fishing and hunting with his sons.

Orville was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Karen (Spaberg) Solum; son, Russ in May; and sister, Helen Richter.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Mary Ellen Solum of Rudyard; sons, Kenneth (Renae) Solum of Kalispell, Edwin (Sue) Solum of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Phil (Lynda) Solum of Nisswa, Minn.; daughter-in-law, Kim Solum of Phoenix, Ariz.; brothers, Glenn (Irene) Solum of Havre and Marcel (Myrl) Solum of Rudyard; sister, Evelyn (Philip) Griffin of Puyallup, Wash.; mother-in-law, Anna Patrick of Chester; 11 grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

Memorials may be made to the Alliance Church.

Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Home, Chester.


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