Orlando J. Goering

Orlando J. Goering, 89, Freeman, passed away July 8, 2010 at the Oakview Terrace Nursing Home in Freeman following a brief illness.

Orlando was born Nov. 7, 1920 near Moundridge, KS to Benjamin B. J. and Anna (Goering) Goering. He was the fourth of seven children.

Orlando graduated from Bethel College, North Newton, KS in 1943. He completed seminary training at Garrett Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL and earned his MS and PhD in sociology from Iowa State University. Orlando taught at Freeman Junior College, Freeman; Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell; Bluffton College, Bluffton, OH and was professor emeritus of sociology at the University of South Dakota where he served on the faculty from 1971-1984.

At Bethel College Orlando met Violet Miller and they were married on June 1, 1944. They were blessed to have 59 years together before Violet's passing on March 16, 2004.

Orlando's interest in religious and ethnic groups led to the publication of numerous articles relating to various communal groups in South Dakota, including the Hutterites. He and Violet also collaborated on research and were contributors to the South Dakota History journal. Orlando's hobbies included woodworking and maintaining his farm. He enjoyed traveling and planned annual family vacations, including trips to Europe and South America.

Upon retirement Orlando and Violet served for three years (1984-1987) under the auspices of the Mennonite General Conference Missions Board in Hiroshima, Japan as directors of the World Friendship Center, an agency for helping atomic-bomb survivors and promoting world peace. When they returned to Vermillion, Orlando served as interim pastor at Sermon on the Mount Mennonite Church in Sioux Falls.

In 1996, Orlando and Violet moved to Freeman where they were active members of Salem Mennonite Church.

Orlando was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Violet; his daughter, Lynette; two sisters, Elda Waltner and Myrtle Unruh; his brother, Delbert Goering; and three brothers- in-law, Philip W. Waltner, Walter H. Krehbiel, and Robert G. Unruh.

Orlando has three surviving siblings, Milo Goering of Halstead, KS, Clarence Goering of Moundridge, KS, and Dorothy Krehbiel of Inman, KS.

Cherishing the memory of his life are son, Arden and his wife Candace, Sioux Falls; daughter, Diane Hanson and husband Phil, Denver, CO; daughter, Janice Goering, Newtown, PA; six grandchildren, Heidi Opland, Heather Langloss, Edika Wilson, Morgan, Mallory and Bill Witt; four great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Sunday, July 18, at 2 p.m. at Salem Mennonite Church, rural Freeman.

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