December 20, 2007

(12/15/1931- 12/14/2007)

Leo William Orton, 75, of Memphis died Friday, December 14, 2007 at Ottumwa, Iowa.

He was born the son of Roy and Pearl (Bennett) Orton on December 15, 1931 near Azen, MO. Leo attended grade school at Upton, Missouri, and then attended Scotland County R-I High School for three years. He then transferred to Wayland High School in Wayland, MO, and graduated there in 1950.

Leo served in the United States Army from January 4, 1952 to January 20, 1954 during the Korean Conflict stationed in Germany. He was in the Military Reserves from January 21, 1954 to April 16, 1960. After leaving the service, he worked for Hendricks Drugstore in Memphis from 1954 to 1958.

In 1958, Leo purchased a farm north of Azen, MO and farmed from 1958 until his retirement in 1998. He also worked as a ringman for the Schuyler County Livestock, the Scotland County Livestock and the Bloomfield Livestock barns during the forty years that he farmed.

Leo served as a Committeeman for the Democratic Party for Johnson Township for many years and also as a board member for the Farm Service Agency. He was a lifetime member of the Wallace W. Gillespie VFW Memorial Post #4958 in Memphis.

Leo was also a natural born salesman; he was known throughout the county for selling and buying almost anything. He enjoyed spending time at Brock Station and Jim’s Service visiting with friends. He liked to go hunting and fishing and in later years he spent many a day fishing with the grandkids. He also sold MLS mineral to the local farmers for several years before retiring from the business in 1998.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Roy and Pearl Orton and one brother, Eugene Orton.

Survivors include his wife of the home; two sons, Mark W. Orton and wife Lisa of Memphis, MO, and Doug S. Orton and wife Linda of Smithville, MO; three grandchildren and one stepgranddaughter, Craig Orton and fiancée Jennifer of Columbia, MO, Brandi Sutter and husband A.J. of St. Charles, MO, Jessica Orton of Smithville, MO, and Lauren Tiderencel of Cameron, MO; and one sister, Evelyn Stott of Kahoka, MO.

Funeral services were held December 17, 2007 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with the Rev. Ernest Deatrick officiating. Mike Hyde, Paul Campbell, David McRobert, Brian Slocum, Ethan Wright, and Chris Montgomery served as pallbearers. Stanley Hatfield, Jim Simerl, Bill Cook, and Kenny Eggleston served as honorary pallbearers. Burial was in the Lawn Ridge Cemetery in Northeastern Scotland County.

Graveside Military Rites were performed by the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial V.F.W. Post #4958 of Memphis.

Memorials have been suggested to Lawn Ridge Cemetery or the Wallace W. Gillespie V.F.W. Post #4958 and can be left at or mailed to: Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Condolences may be sent to Mr. Orton’s family via email at

Arrangements were under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service from its Memphis chapel.

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