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March 4, 2014
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Orvel (Chief) Dean Jennings

Orvel, a longtime resident of Glide, OR, passed away on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at the age of 76. Orvel was born June 5, 1937 in Anadarko, OK, to Ab and Lois (Alldredge) Jennings.

His parents preceded him in death and as a teen he lived with his Uncle Leonard in Fresno, California. Orvel was always up for adventure and he often spoke about his time in Fresno and Bakersfield with his Cousin Jerry. After a short while in Fresno he moved to Roseburg, Oregon with his Aunt Lillian, where he attended Roseburg High School. Soon after moving to the area his family started the Whistlers Park Mercantile on the North Umpqua Highway towards Glide. There residence being a house located behind the store. Orvel worked in his families store as well as the Original Drive N Save market in Roseburg. He enjoyed his work there and spoke fondly of his time at Drive N Save. Early on he realized his affinity for the grocery business.

While working at Whistlers Park he met the love of his life Erma Thomas. She lived just across the highway with her family and visited the store frequently. They fell in love and were married in September 1959. Orvel and Erma moved to Roseburg to settle down and raise a family. In August 1960 they welcomed the first of four children.

Orvel explored his entrepreneurial spirit and during this time found a party to invest and assist him in opening his very own grocery store, Lone Rock Market in Glide, Oregon. He moved his family to a residence on Lone Rock Road. Orvel and Erma ran the store for five years before deciding to sell. It didn’t take long before Orvel began missing the grocery business. So he purchased a building at 117 Brown St. in Glide. With Erma alongside him they ran a pizza place in the front half of the building and Glide Grocery in the back half. A fire devastated the building in 1986. Orvel and Erma decided to rebuild Glide Grocery, minus the pizza place, but with the addition of the gas station. Orvel could often be seen on a bench just outside the front doors of the store greeting customers with a handshake and a smile or a tip of his hat. He enjoyed meeting new people and talking with locals about community events and their daily lives. They maintained a residence on top of the store until their retirement in June 2005.

During his retirement Orvel could be found relaxing beside his koi pond with his beloved four legged friend “Dude”. He always had his music playing. He enjoyed a variety of music from Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, and the Bellamy Brothers to Native American chanting and drumming. Orvel liked watching westerns and living the country life, and was a cowboy at heart. He was the loyalist of friends, a loving devoted husband, and a cherished father. Quiet the philosophic he was always up for a deep conversation about life or a go at it over the latest in politics. He enjoyed the hobby of collecting, and had various collections including, guns, hats, and baseball cards. He was also a fan of football and had a knack for remembering football stats.

Orvel had an unwavering deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Though he will be so very missed we can find solace in knowing he is in heaven with his dearly beloved mother, Lois and will live on in our hearts forever. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Erma Jennings; his children: Sherri Hyatt, Brett Jennings, Lorri Fugate, and Karla Preston; grandchildren; Deana Baez, Amber Schuppert, Melissa Fugate, Derrick Fugate, Randy Hubbard, Blake Preston, and Sienna Preston; great-grandchildren; Blanca Perla, Isaiah Baez, Makenya Nelson, Jasmyne Baez, Zola-Badu Kamgang, Caden Schuppert, Talon Hubbard, Cheyanne Baez, and Domminnick Fugate; and “Dude”.

Please join us at Person’s Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 1 p.m. and a gathering will follow.

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The News-Review Updated Mar 4, 2014 10:47AM Published Mar 20, 2014 10:15AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.