338 - 4th Avenue North | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
Obituary of Orville Wilson Middleton
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Orville Wilson Middleton passed away resting peacefully Nov. 1, 2023 in Sherbrooke’s Veterans Village in Saskatoon at the age of 101. Orville was born April 7, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Predeceased by his parents William and Nettie, wife Jean, and two daughters Dawn and Bonnie. Leaving behind 4 grandkids, Joseph, Ryan, Arlen (Paige), Laura (Adam), and 11 great grandkids, Jesco, Julian, Zion, Boaz, Selah, Selkie, Katherine, William, John, Hailey, Aiden, step-brother Harry Hudson along with many nephews and nieces.
Orville was raised and took all his schooling (grade 12 Grad), in Kelowna, B.C.
After graduating from grade 12 Orville and 15 other boys walked across the street and joined the army/navy/Air Force, were Orville was a ground gunner . Orville was the only one out of the 16 to come home. After the war was over Orville joined the American army as there was still fighting going on it the Pacific, which ended before he could be sent there, so he was sent back to Europe to help in the relief efforts for 2 years.
Upon returning home to Kelowna Orville opened up a roller skating rink, along with a used car lot. One day Jean Horn was attempting to roller skate and fell on her behind. Orville having a keen eye for the ladies came to her rescue and hence the courtship and marriage in 1948. Jean and Orville raised two daughters Dawn and Bonnie, with Dawn having 4 children.
In the late 50’ Orville and Jean moved to Alberta were Orville worked in the oil patch. Once Orville heard about the building of the Gardner Dam in Saskatchewan they packed up and moved to Saskatchewan in the late 50’s. With Orville’s entrepreneurs mind he bought a couple trucks to haul cement from the railroad to the dam. And seeing that people didn’t have a place to live close to the dam, Orville purchased land in Dunblane and built a trailer court, and charged and fee of $1 a day for rent. While at the trailer court Orville built a laundromat and dance hall.
About the time of the damn being completed Orville and a couple of his friends went to California and were surfing were Orville spotted a hand held car wash. Orville moved to Saskatoon and purchased a large piece of land (the whole block), on Saskatchewan Ave, and built a hand held car wash. Once the car wash was up and running with Jean running it Orville was thinking, now what could I do. They would let people dry off their cars and even change their oil. So Orville went mmmmmmmmmmm, I could charge people a fee for renting a bay to work on their vehicles. Well shortly after he purchased a large standing building out of town, and dismantled it, using a couple sticks of dynamite to blow it apart (only breaking one roof rafter). At the other end of Saskatchewan Ave from the car wash he reassembled the building and opened up Saskatoon’s U Fix It Shop with 10 bays, some with hoists that people could rent by the hour and work on their vehicles. Now Jean had the car wash and U Fix It Shop to run.
With people changing their oil Orville was collecting a lot of dirty oil and his mind was back at working on what to do with it. He thought, why not clean the dirty oil and make it back into usable oil. He attended a couple re-finery conventions in the states and asked how much it would cost to build a re-finery to clean used/dirty oil. He was told at least a Million dollars, which he replied “for that amount of money I will build it myself”. Orville purchased property out towards Martensville and started to build Magnum Oil which became are very popular re refined oil for truckers and regular vehicles to use, to the point were he sent his oil to Ottawa to be tested. The results came back in a letter stating "This is the best re refined oil we have ever tested”. Sadly this letter has been lost and will not be displayed at his funeral.
Jean having to run the car wash, U Fix It Shop and now selling oil was getting to be a hand full. The car wash was sold, and years later the U Fix It Shop was sold. So Orville purchased a house on Alberta Ave. which had a shop on the property were he sold the oil from.
In 2007, The Dept. of Highways was auctioning off the Old Borden Bridge along with some land near the bridge. Orville placed a closed bid, and was the highest bidder and the proud owner of the Borden Bridge. Orville had visions of building a dance hall on the bridge and went ahead and purchased material for the project, only to have his dream stopped by the R.M. Not only would they not let Orville build the dance hall they turned him down when he wanted to build a fish farm and raise Sturgeon, so he approached the R.M. with the idea of building an orchard on the land, and again was not allowed to do that.
Although Orville was a hard worker he loved to dance and down hill ski and was still dancing and skiing into his early 90’s. Having helped build the Gardner Dam, build a trailer court, car wash, U Fix It Shop, Magnum Oil, Orville figured “Now What”. With Magnum Oil being sold Orville was left with a empty shop next to his house. Orville, filled the shop with items purchased from auctions which was one of Orville’s passions and opened up a second hand store, which he operated until Covid hit and he had to shut down.
During all Orville’s fulfillments of his visions, he had to endure, first the loss of his youngest daughter Bonnie in 1988, then Jean in 2004 and then Dawn his oldest daughter in 2006. And then at the age of 99 Orville was diagnosed with Dementia. During Orville’s time with Dementia he still was not assessed as long term care until late Sept ,2023 at the the age of 101, and finally was able to get admitted into Veterans Village in Sherbrooke where for the short time he resided there he won the hearts of the staff. The previous two years Orville resided In Diamond House in Warman, where he became one of the staff’s favourite residents. In the middle of October, 2023 Orville fell and broke his hip, and after the operation developed complications and for the short time he received what his family and friends said was unbelievable care and treatment from the staff in Veterans Village, until he left us to join Jean, Bonnie and Dawn and a lot of other family members and friends that he out lived.
Viewing will take place from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior the the Service
Dependable. Committed. Compassionate.
338 - 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
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