Wilbur Orville

Obituary of Wilbur Orville

He was born in Eureka, Kansas on August 4, 1926, to Orville and Matilda Starner and attended school in Eureka. He enlisted in the Navy on February 11, 1944, and saw duty in the Philippines during World War II.

After discharge in 1947, he went to Alaska where he homesteaded near Homer, Alaska, and worked on the Alaska Highway construction as a heavy equipment operator.

He married Jewell Gregory Ruhl on October 28, 1955. He worked on the construction of TableRock dam and lake near Branson, Missouri before returning to live in the Fairbanks, Alaska area while working at Elmendorf AFB.

In 1960 he went to work for the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks as an electronics technician studying the Aurora Borealis.

In 1964 the family moved to Riviera Beach, Florida where he was at Pratt-Whitney Aircraft before working at ITT Semiconductors.

In 1978 he became a Senior Technical Engineer for Harris Semiconductors in Melbourne, Florida, and moved to Palm Bay where he retired in 1989.

He temporarily moved to Hutchinson, Kansas from 2006 until 2019, when he returned to the Palm Bay area.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jewell Starner in 2005.

He is survived by Daughter Matilda Starner of Palm Bay, son David Starner of Jupiter, son James Starner of Lake Worth, and stepson Donald Ruhl of Fort Myers, and 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

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