Service Details


Saturday, December 2, 2017
1:30 to 2:30 pm
First Federated Church
4801 E Franklin Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa


Saturday, December 2, 2017
2:30 pm
First Federated Church
4801 E Franklin Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa


Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Van Meter, Iowa


Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
(515) 243-5221

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May 7, 1932 - November 28, 2017

Orville Lee Barbee passed away peacefully into God’s arms on November 28, 2017 surrounded by his loving family. He was born May 7, 1932 in Beardstown, Illinois and was the oldest son of Oscar and Bernice Barbee.

Orville is survived by his wife and soul mate of 66 years, Gwen; his children Nickie (Randy) Thompson and Kent (Denise) Barbee; his grandchildren Chris (Jenni) Thompson, Gwen-Anne Braeger-Clyse (Eric Clyse), Nate Barbee, Katie (Michael) Carney, and Will Thompson; plus his great-grandchildren Kaitlyn and McClane Thompson, Cole and Rhys Braeger, and soon-to-be born grandson Grant Clyse. He is further survived by his brother Gene and extended family, along with many friends he met and cherished through the years.

Orv was a graduate of Keosauqua High School where he played basketball and baseball. He enlisted in the army during the Korean War and was deployed 16 days after he married Gwen, returning 2 years later. Their love got them both through this difficult time and never wavered throughout the 66 years they spent together. Orv and Gwen were both raised with farming backgrounds and after the war decided to follow in the family tradition and became farmers. Orv was later given the opportunity to work for Farm Bureau Insurance, where he enjoyed 30 years of employment. He was a self-made man, starting out in the Safety Department conducting safety demonstrations for high schools throughout the state. He eventually became Vice President of Agency Development and ended his career before retirement in 1989 as Product Research Vice President.

Orv’s many interests and hobbies through the years included woodworking, camping, fly fishing, golfing, reading, and photography. He was never bored, as he loved to attempt new projects and enjoyed the challenge. In addition to his many hobbies, he loved volunteering at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery where he assisted the Cemetery staff with the needs of veterans, family members, and the public.

Orville’s relationship with God was most important to him and he tried to never lose sight of the fact that God was the One who was guiding him and his family through the life challenges faced by all.

A memorial service for Orv will be held at First Federated Church, 4801 Franklin Ave. Saturday, December 2 at 2:30 pm.The family will greet guests from 1:30-2:30 prior to the service and be available at the reception immediately following.

Memorial contributions may be made to either First Federated Church or the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

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