Orville L. Tatge, age 94, Benson

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Orville L. Tatge, age 94, died on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at Swift County Benson Hospital in Benson. 

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Benson.  

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 4, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, Benson, and will continue for one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday. Arrangements with Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson.


Orville Lamoine Tatge was born July 9, 1919, at his family home in Eagan, South Dakota, to Louis C. and Florence M. (Gleason) Tatge.  He lived in Egan until 1927 and then the family moved to Swift County, Minnesota to farm.  They later moved to Benson, MN, where he lived until his death.  He graduated from Benson High School in the class of 1937.  During high school, he was quarterback on the football team and made early morning deliveries for Tatge and Sons Dairy.  Orville served during WWII in the United States Army, from September 9, 1941 to November 24, 1945, with the 75th Infantry Division in the European Theater of Operations.  He was a medic and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.  Among the medals he earned was the Bronze Star. 

He was baptized and confirmed by Rev. Meiger in 1943 while serving in the military in Lampoc, CA.  He was united in marriage to Mary Mathilda Strom of Vivian, SD, on August 15, 1942 by Rev. A. J. Baalson.  This marriage was blessed with seven children.  They shared over 71 years together.  Following his honorable discharge from the Army, they farmed in Six Mile Grove Township until 1965 when they moved to Benson.  He served as Swift County Treasurer from 1969 through 1982, when he retired.  At various times Orville held many positions at Six Mile Grove and Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Churches, including Sunday School teacher, and served on District 88 School Board.  He served on the Boards of 4-H Federation , Food Shelf, Swift County Homes, Salvation Army, Hospice and the National Farmers Organization as Swift County Chairman for two years.  In 1996, he was named WCCO Good Neighbor and was later named Swift County Outstanding Senior Citizen. 

Over the years, Orville became known for his huge gardens, raising large patches of pumpkins, an acre of strawberries, a half-acre of raspberries and other vegetables.  One year he donated 7 tons of squash for the pantry truck to northern Minnesota.  It was not unusual to plant 90+ rows of potatoes on Good Friday each year.  He had a strong work ethic and was not afraid of physical labor.  He loved his family and had a strong faith in Jesus our Lord.  He is survived by his wife, 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, a sister Arlene (LuVerne) Norby, brothers-in-law Palmer and Edwin Strom, and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Sylvia, his sister Phyllis Jebe, and five brothers: Chester, Carroll, John, Kenneth and Clifford Tatge.

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