Orvil Lewis Murdock by Misty Peterson
Contributor: jbetz Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Ancestral History: Orvil Lewis Murdock
Orvil Lewis Murdock was born on September 18, 1912 in Thomas, Idaho to Daniel Lewis Murdock and Annie Pearl Jones. His mother, Annie Jones was born on April 22, 1891 in Ouray County, Colorado to Jacob Orlando Jones of Box Elder, Utah and Nilla Ellen (Nellie) Sandberg who was from Sweden. His father, Daniel, was born in Riverside Idaho in 1888 to Daniel Jefferson Murdock and Martha Vilate Wilson, both from Ogden, Utah.
Orvil was one of nine children. He had five brothers, Elwin Walrath, Quentin Chester, Dale Clarence, LaVar, and Fenoi. He had three sisters, Velda, Atha, and Danette (who died at age 2). He attended school in Thomas, Idaho and then later at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. He served an LDS mission in Michigan before he married Berniece Whiting on August 30, 1940 in the Salt Lake temple.
After they were married they settled back in Thomas, Idaho where he worked as a potato and wheat farmer and also had a small dairy. He had a job for Rockford Farm Supply for awhile as well. Most of his brothers took after their father and stayed in the Riverside/Thomas area and continued to farm after their father passed away. Many of those farms are still in operation today and have been passed down to others in the family.
Orvil and Berniece had 10 children, Bonnie Pearl (July 27, 1943), Shirley (January 8, 1945), Luanna, Wanda Marie (May 4, 1949), Jerry Lewis (August 20, 1954) Marlene Vilate (December 16, 1955), Merna Kay, Kent David (December 5, 1958), Lanette (November 29, 1960) and Darwin Ray (August 1, 1962). Orvil lost two of his daughters prior to his own death, Shirley passed away at age 21, shortly after marrying. His daughter Luanna died in 1989 from breast cancer. He also lost one son in law, Chad Blackburn (Marlene) in 1996 to a tragic car accident.
During Orvil’s life he was a faithful member of the LDS church and served in many callings. One of his favorite callings was serving in the Idaho Falls temple during the time when they had a live cast instead of a film presentation. For many years he played the role of Lucifer and had many spiritual experiences. He also had two brothers that served in the temple for many years as temple sealers. He received many blessings from his service, including the blessing that 9 of his 10 children were married in the temple and all of his children are still active members of the LDS church.
During his life he visited many places, he took his wife back to his mission area in Michigan and Iowa. They also took a trip of the church historical locations and went to the pageant in Palmyra and Nauvoo. They traveled to New York and the White House. They also went to Alaska for a month and a Caribbean cruise. When their son Jerry was finishing his mission they went to Venezuela, Peru and Guatemala where they went to an area conference which was presided over by Spencer W. Kimball. Later they spent three weeks in Oahu, Hawaii. They also went to the World’s Fair in Vancouver, British Columbia and to many Farm Bureau conventions all over the United States.
After the children had grown, Orvil served a second mission, this one with his wife Berniece. They served in the Conventry England mission from 1982 to 1984. They served in a small branch and had many spiritual experiences during that service.
Orvil passed away on May 7, 1999, shortly after his newest great grandson, Dekan Peterson, was born. He was a great man and left a huge posterity, most of whom are members of the LDS church and serve faithfully to be with him again someday. Currently that posterity consists of 52 grandchildren and 102 great grandchildren and some great-great grandchildren.
Orvil kept a journal and impeccable financial records throughout his life. You could probably find out how much he spent on his tank of gas in September 1966 if you looked through his record books. His wife Berniece has these records and is currently still living in their family home.
Four of Orvil’s brothers are still living today, all over age 90. His wife Berniece still lives in their family home, although much of the farm has been sold. Only 10 acres which they sold to their daughter Wanda and her husband still belong to the family, but the memories of all of the hard work and play lives on in the stories that his family tells.