Orval D McDowell, 85, of Osceola, IA passed away Jan. 20, 2024, at home surrounded by family. He was the seventh child of nine born to Floyd & Gretchen (Fesler) McDowell. He was born in Ringgold County but always loved to joke and say he was born in a ditch. Orval was raised in southern Iowa and attended schools in the Grand River and Van Wert areas. Orval lived with his uncle & aunt, Homer & Gladys Crees, for many of his younger years and considered them as his second parents.
Orval married his high school sweetheart, Neva Lee Kindred, on Sept. 22, 1957 and they had 66 wonderful years together. They settled in Osceola and raised 3 children, Rick, Ronda & Ronal.
Orval worked 9 years for Delavan’s Manufacturing in Des Moines during which he made jet nozzles for the Apollo Space program, before purchasing the Western Auto Store in Osceola in 1967. He and Neva Lee expanded the store and continued to run it until 1983. Orval then converted the buildings into commercial rentals. In 1988, Orval worked with his son, Rick, in Rick’s business, Competition Specialties for 15 years before finally retiring.
Orval belonged to the Osceola Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce and was a Charter Member of the Osceola Eagles. He was a Cub Scout Master of the local Cub Scouts for several years and was able to bring Duane Elliot & Floppy to a Blue and Gold Scout banquet. Orval was also involved with the Little League Association and sponsored Little League teams, even coaching one team to a first place championship.
Orval & Neva Lee enjoyed traveling and would take their children on yearly vacations, visiting every state in the continental US and parts of Canada and Mexico. Through the Western Auto Store, they were able visit several countries outside of the US.
Orval enjoyed fishing and took many trips with his buddies to Canada in a renovated school bus. He loved woodworking and used his artistic talents to make everything from intricate key chains, rocking chairs to large entertainment centers, all for family and friends. He made sure all of his creations were branded with his name. Orval also loved his acreage where he and Neva Lee built their home and landscaped it into their own sanctuary.
Orval is survived by his wife; son, Rick McDowell of Osceola, IA; daughter, Ronda (Dan) Harrison of Chariton, IA; son, Ron (Karen) McDowell of Sheridan, WY; grandchildren: Jennifer (Scott) Keefer of Gladstone, MO; Tonille (Scott) Burrows of Murfreesboro, TN; Rachelle (Jeremy) Davis of Indianola, IA; Kyle McDowell of San Diego, CA; Kasey McDowell of Johnston, IA; Reed McDowell of Sheridan, WY; great-grandchildren: Elaven & Gaven Burrows of Murfreesboro, TN; Daniel, William and Rosslyn Davis of Indianola, IA; Kade McDowell of Johnston, IA; brother, Darwin McDowell and sister Cindy Vandel and many loved nieces, nephews and other family and friends.
Orval was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Jeffrey Orval Davis; 2 sisters, Vivian McDowell & Colleen West; and 4 brothers, Ray, Bob, Con & Gary McDowell.
A Celebration of Life will be held later at a later date.