Obituary – Vence Orlando (1955 – 2014)

May 16, 1955-November 20, 2014

Vence Franklin Orlando was born May 16, 1955 in Wichita, KS to Emelio “Ace” & Shirley Orlando and went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 20, 2014 at age 59. The oldest of three children, brother to Tony Orlando and Tammy Orlando Merriman. Vence met the love of his life, Debbie and daughter Andrea, in 1982 and were married in 1984. Vence was employed in the melon industry most of his life working for Lindemann Farms/Produce, Hammond Ranch/Gold Rush Produce and lastly, Legend Produce. He traveled to Central America, Florida, Arizona as well as California, teaching and monitoring the growing of melons. He was very astute at what he did and even UC Davis called upon him to help identify diseases in the plants. He had the nickname “Melon King of the San Joaquin”. Vence was always willing to help when needed. He served as a 4-H Leader, FFA Ag Booster and attended all of his daughter’s events showing her animals, attended every parade she marched in or school function she was involved in. He was very proud of her and bragged about her to everyone, and rightfully so.

Vence was unfortunate to have two serious illnesses in his last 22 years of life, the last one lasting 11 years that finally took him home to his final resting place. However, he never let it get him down. He never once questioned his Lord as to why him. He just told everyone what his friend George Lindemann told him, “You just play with the cards you’re dealt”. He was truly a strong, courageous man, loving life to the fullest. Whether going to San Francisco to the Giants or 49er games, partying with his friends, or having to lay in bed and just watch tv, he did all with enthusiasm like no other. When he was feeling good, he would sing along to every theme song to every tv show and mimic the commercials. He had an amazing sense of humor that he never lost, up until his last day on earth, he always had something funny to say. Vence was an avid Giants and 49er fan. He never missed a game, whether in person or on tv and had recently started his bobble-head collection, which he showed to anyone who came to visit.

Early this year, Debbie brought home a puppy, Bonnie. On weekends he would talk his wife into getting him a maple bar and of course, donut holes for Bonnie, which he had to be the one to give them to her. Little did he know, all she did was hide them in between the sofa cushions!.

In addition to being a 4-H leader and involved with FFA Ag Boosters, Vence was in the Dos Palos Lions Club and served as Club President as well as other offices and also served on the California Melon Research Board.

Vence was preceeded in death by his parents, Emelio & Shirley Orlando, grandparents Mike & Serafina Orlando, Albert Richey, Cora Richey McEver & Pete McEver. He is survived by his wife, Debbie Orlando, daughter Andrea Thomas (Patrick), brother Tony Orlando (Cathie), sister Tammy Orlando Merriman, niece Amanda Walker (Lorenzo), nephews Joey Orlando, Austin & Jared Merriman, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

We would like to thank his many caregivers throughout the years for the wonderful care given him and friendships made, the nursing staff of Mercy Medical Care, Dr. Michael Azevedo and Dr. Jason Mevi and his awesome staff for the outstanding care given to him! I could not have made it without any of you! To everyone who ever came to visit, help purchase his van, or bestowed other acts of kindness – From the very bottom of our hearts, Thank you!

Donations made be made to Dos Palos Lions Club noting Vence Orlando Fund,
or Funeral Services will be Friday November 28, 2014 beginning at 9:00am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dos Palos. Funeral Arrangements under the direction of Fierro Family Funeral Home. (linked checked 5th Feb 2015 not working)

Published in the Merced Sun-Star 28th November 2014 (California)

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies and surname courses.
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