He was born April 28, 1926, in Vernon County, to Lawrence Elmer Meritt and Viola Mae Williams Meritt. He married Dorothea M. Garwood on June 20, 1948, in Nevada, and she survives of the home.
Orville was a graduate of Nevada High School. He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946 in France, Germany and Czechoslovaki. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, Combat Infantry Badge, the European Theatre of Operation ribbon with two battle stars, Good Conduct Medal and President's Unit Citation.
Following the service, he returned to Nevada where he farmed for a short time. He was best known as the "Jewel Tea Man" as he worked for Jewel Tea Company for 12 years. He later worked as a wholesale grocery salesman including Springfield Grocer and retired from Marrone Wholesale, Pittsburg, Kan., in April 1988. Most of his life was spent in Vernon County. He was a member of the Pine Street Baptist Church. Orville firmly believed "the Lord put me here on earth to help other people" and he did spend his whole life giving and helping others.
Survivors in addition to his wife, Dorothea, include two daughters, Shelia Meritt, and Pam Ogle and her husband, Steve, all of Nevada; three grandsons, Jeff Addington, Fordland, Mo., Kevin Addington, Fort Scott, Kan., and Cole Ogle, Nevada; two great-grandsons, Gage and Jake Addington; one great-granddaughter, Britni Addington; two stepgranddaughters; several stepgreat-grandchildren; one brother-in-law; three sisters-in-law; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and one sister.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, with John Nichols officiating. Interment will follow in Moore Cemetery. Friends may call now and until the hour of service at the funeral home or the family will receive friends at the family's home.