Orlen E. Creese of Charter Oak was born on December 2, 1924, on the farm where he grew up, to Percey Creese Sr. and Hertha (Namanny) Creese. He was the oldest of four boys. Orlen was baptized into Christ on February 21, 1926, at the Presbyterian Church in Charter Oak, and later confirmed on April 23, 1953, at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Hanover.
A man who loved the land, was honest, humble, and had much wisdom, he went to country school and graduated from Charter Oak High School with the class of 1943. Walking, biking or by horse-back the three plus miles to school was the normal transportation. As he grew in years, he started farming with his father; they used horses to put the crops in and picked the corn by hand in the fall. Hard work and determination were the goals of life.
Orlen and Phyllis (Greene) were married June 4, 1950, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sioux City. They lived most of their married life on the farm next door to where Orlen grew up. He was a grain farmer who took pride in raising cattle and hogs. He devoted many hours to work. In 1987, they moved to the outskirts of Charter Oak and he continued to farm. In his later years, he enjoyed taking care of their lawn and his garden in town. He also enjoyed woodworking; many pieces are treasured by his family. He also made several pieces for St Paul Lutheran Church. He was fortunate to have received two century farm awards, he was proud to have farmed all his life. He enjoyed buying and selling cows and calves until he was nearly 89-years-old. In younger years, he had the pleasure of shipping cattle to the Chicago Stockyards by train and by truck, and then over the years to the Omaha Stockyards. That was always a special day to him, filled with anticipation. Going to Omaha was not a common trip, so the day when he would ship cattle was almost like a family outing, even taking his children out of school. As the children grew, they helped with responsibilities on the farm. Dad instilled hard work ethics and also involved the kids in 4-H. Dad had a great eye for champions and was also a 4-H leader. He enjoyed fishing and taught his children the same. He enjoyed card club and family card games. He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Hanover actively serving over the years. He served on the Mapleton Trust & Savings Board of Directors and the Crawford County FMHA Board for several years.
He entered Maple Heights in 2019. He was always able to share good stories and memories. He enjoyed having friends and family visit as much as possible and when Covid happened it was very different for everyone. Orlen and Phyllis celebrated their 70th anniversary in June of 2020, with Dad on the inside and family on the outside. Hard to believe making it all those years through so much that Covid would separate them from even holding hands, but they always made the best of every situation. He was respected and loved by family and friends. He had a gift... he was able to have a conversation with anyone... friend or stranger. He was of a quiet nature and also very humble and honest. A man of deep faith and he loved spending time with his family.
Orlen passed away on February 8, 2021, with family by his side at the age of 96 years, two months and six days.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, LeVerne (JoAnn), Percy Jr. (Diane Thomas) and Elwin (June); great granddaughter, Annette Carlson; and nephew, Greg Creese. Left to treasure his life well lived are his wife, Phyllis Creese of Charter Oak; daughter, Janine (Jerry) Waldrop of Lake View; son, Randy (Lois) of Panora; daughter, Debbie (Denny) Goetzinger of Spirit Lake; four granddaughters, Chantel Chaney, Stephanie Carlson, Lyndsy (Steve) Jermier and Morgan (Chad) Melby; ten great-grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; five step-great-grandchildren; one step-great-great-granddaughter; and many other relatives and friends.