Orpha Elaine Byrge

MARQUETTE, MI. – Orpha Elaine Byrge, 95, of 1279 Lakeshore Park Place, Marquette, died Thursday, December 19, 2013 at Norlite Nursing Center.

Orpha was born on December 4, 1918 in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, to Olaus and Juliana (Gladem) Kellesvig.

Orpha was preceded in death by her husband, Donald after 61 years of marriage. Besides her parents, she was also preceded in death by her brothers, Marion, William, and Orville; and her sisters, Leota Lehnherr and Inez Byrge.

Orpha is survived by her children, Sharon (Cary) Bjork and Kenneth (Laurie) Byrge. Also surviving are grandchildren, Bryan (Mindy) Bjork, Adam Bjork, Jonathan (Meghan) Bjork, Lisa Byrge, and Amy (Scott) Sonbuchner. She is survived by great grandchildren, Gavin Bjork, Macy Bjork and Elliot Sonbuchner. Also surviving is her loving sister-in-law, Doris Kellesvig; and brother-in-law, Wallace Byrge.

Orpha lived in Hobart, Indiana. After her husband retired, they lived in Yuma, Arizona before coming to Marquette in 2001. She was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette.

Orpha lived through technological advances from automobiles and airplanes to electricity and telephones to radio and television. She endured two world wars (losing one brother to war), a decades-long cold war, a great depression, and a cultural revolution. Through it all, she cultivated a loving, devoted marriage and successfully raised two children, while taking every opportunity to connect with her fellow man through caring conversation, a good laugh, and a plate of cookies. Orpha’s was a fruitful life, full of love, family and friendship, simple pleasures and great food. Funeral services will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church at 3 p.m., with Reverend Amanda Kossow and Reverend David Van Kley officiating. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2 p.m. until time of service at the church. Burial will be made in Primrose Cemetery in Dane County, Wisconsin. Following services, a reception will be held in the reception area located at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W. Magnetic Street, Marquette, MI 49855, or the charity of your choice.

The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome