Orlando and Ruth on their wedding day. January 29, 1938
his grandparent’s home (Martin and Paulina Finholt).
Because his father, Oscar, was “road boss" for the area and gone a great deal, Orlando began taking responsibility for the farm at a very early age. His own education was set aside so his brothers and sisters could all go on to high school while he kept the farm running. Time was to prove that his education never really stopped for he kept studying all his life, learning new trades whenever necessary.
Ruth Osmundson, daughter of Bernt and Bertena, was born 22 Nov 1907 in Highland Twp., Winneshiek Co. Before marriage Ruth worked for the Alvin Pfister family as household help and for the Ben Bear family as the downstairs maid.
Orlando met Ruth Osmundson at a country dance above the blacksmith shop in Sattre in 1931. They were introduced by Orlando’s sister, Cora and Ruth's sisters Alma and Frances. After they became engaged he began searching for a job which would permit them to be married, but jobs were very hard to find in those depression days. He worked in Mike Kanneberg’s Body Shop and Roy Gjetley’s but it wasn’t until he started work in Marshalltown that they were able to plan for their life together. So after an engagement of 7 years, Orlando and Ruth were married 29 Jan 1938 at the parsonage at Big Canoe Lutheran Church by Rev. Tolo. The weather had been so stormy for so long that Ruth had been unable to shop for her wedding dress so it was arranged that Orlando would shop in Marshalltown and bring the dress with him. He brought a beautiful blue velvet two piece dress and a trunk for her to put her things in for the move to Marshalltown. She must have had great faith in him to purchase such an important item as a wedding dress.
Their first child, Kathryn Elaine was born in Marshalltown, IA. Their second child Stanley Mervin was born in Cresco, IA where Orlando was a “body man" at McKittrick Motors.
In 1951, Orlando was asked to be Head Custodian for the Decorah Public Schools. He accepted the offer and they purchased a house at 610 Washington St. and moved back to Decorah. He and Ruth were thrilled to be back in Winneshiek Co. near friends and family.
After passing a course in electronics Orlando opened Finholt’s Radio and Television at 504 West Water St., later moving it to his home. When TV became electronic which required a great deal more expensive equipment Orlando took another course in Chicago, IL to learn how to care for the automatic bowling machines which Luther College was putting in their recreation department. Alumni have commented that they remember “the nice gentleman that checked out the equipment in the recreation department.” After retirement he took another course in electric wiring and was busier than ever wiring new homes for Finholt Construction. He never stopped studying to further himself.
Ruth stayed home and cared for her family. Her home was always well cared for and she was a wonderful cook. After Kathryn and Stanley were married and moved away from home, Ruth went to work in the cafeteria at Luther College. Then she was employed at the Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital, both at the old hospital and the new.
Orlando and Ruth were members of the First Lutheran Church. They never missed a Sunday service and devotions at home were a nightly ritual. They had a deep and abiding faith in God and shared that faith with each other.
After retirement they purchased a home at 1312 Blue-grass Drive where Orlando had a wood shop and Ruth had plenty of room for her flowers. In their later years, when the upkeep became too much they moved to 816 S. Mill St.
Orlando and Ruth with their children, Kathryn and Stanley on their 50th Wedding Anniversary at First Lutheran Church,
Orlando loved to fish and the family has fond memories of picnics and fishing trips to the Upper Iowa river and small streams around Decorah. When Kathy moved back to Decorah, Orlando, Clay (Kathy’s husband), Karl (Kathy's son) and Daniel (Clay’s grandson) would make
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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021