Orvin E. Walsvik

 

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Orvin E. Walsvik

MADISON - Orvin E. Walsvik, age 83, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006.
    He was born on Feb. 11, 1923, in DeForest, to Ole and Edna (Midthun) Walsvik. The son of Norwegian immigrants, he grew up a farmer's son.
    Orv graduated from Madison East High School in 1941 and served in the U.S. Navy (Naval Air Corps) from 1943 to 1946, as an aviation radioman, earning the American Area Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
    He received his bachelor of arts degree in 1949, in speech pathology and a master's degree in audiology and speech pathology from the UW-Madison. From 1951 to 1953, he established speech and audiology programs in Jefferson and Dane county schools.
    In 1953, he accepted the position of chief audiologist at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Division for Handicapped Children.
    Orv was the lead audiologist in establishing a state-wide hearing conservation program in the public schools.
     He taught for five summers at the UW-Madison and published a manual for use in teaching speech to hearing impaired children.
    Orv is the past president of the Wisconsin Speech Language and Hearing Association.
    He retired from the State of Wisconsin in June 1983, receiving the Governor's Special Award for 33 years of service. Orv then accepted the position of Audiology Consultant in the EDS-Medicaid program until 1999.
    He was a member of the Sertoma Club of Madison (Service to Mankind) and was chosen as Sertoman of the Year, in 1990, for his efforts in developing the High Risk Infant Hearing Screening Program at Meriter Hospital.
    Orv began ice skating on the Tenney Park lagoons, becoming a champion speed skater-turned hockey player, outstanding at all levels of competition as a player and later as a coach.
    He was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame on June 30, 1984, cited for playing with the Madison Cardinal Hockey Team for 14 years during the 1950s and 1960s in the Wisconsin State Hockey League as the leading scorer for six years and chosen most valuable player for four years.
    Orv played for and coached the Wagon Wheel Cardinals in Rockton, Ill., for eight years during the 1960s. Their team won the league title for six of the eight years, playing against Minnesota and Michigan teams, the U.S. National Team, British, German and Japanese Olympic teams, and University of Wisconsin teams, losing only to the U.S. National team and defeating the University of Wisconsin, in both of two meetings.

 

    The Wagon Wheel Cardinals won the Midwest Amateur Championship in 1963. Orv was elected most valuable player three times, and led the league in scoring for three years.
    He coached the Madison South Side Hockey Club in the 1960s and 1970s, at all levels and their teams won numerous city and state titles.
    Orv also worked with a group that brought about the formation of the Monona Grove High School hockey team and was the coach of the first Monona Grove varsity team, competing in the Big Eight conference.
    Later he worked with a group to convince the WIAA that hockey should be recognized as a varsity sport. Orv was a leader in organizing the Wisconsin Hockey Officials Association, where he was president and referee-in-chief for five years. He conducted numerous clinics to train officials in all areas of the state.
    Orv worked for 20 years as an official at all levels of youth, high school, adult, college and professional hockey. He worked with a group to convince then Athletic Director of University of Wisconsin, Ivy Williamson, to reinstate hockey on a club basis.
    Orv joined a small group in contacting Bob Johnson and persuading him to accept the position of head hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin. He was very active in a hockey booster group which eventually became the Blue Line club.
    He and Bonnie Ryan, then sports writer at the Wisconsin State Journal, presented the name "Blue Line Club" to the hockey booster group in 1965 and it was officially adopted. Orv  was given the Blue Line Award for Meritorious Service at all levels of hockey in 1968.
    He was an observer of officials for the WCHA for five years and played in an Old Timers hockey league for many years, where he skated with seven teammates who played together for more than 30 years.
    Orv was passionate about the game of golf, blazing around the area's golf courses. He holds the 18 Hole record of 64, at the Monona Golf Course before nine holes were cleared to make room for LaFollette High School. Orv scored a hole-in-one three times that we know of.
    In his later years, he joined the Southern Wisconsin Old Time Fiddlers' Association and enjoyed playing his fiddle for area nursing homes, dances and concerts. He loved the camaraderie of his friends in the group. Traditional Christmas dinner was lutefisk and lefse, which he and the family ate with gusto. For many years, the lefse was made for us with his own loving hands.
    Holidays were his shining moments and his enthusiasm will go on in each of our hearts. His amazing generosity was most obvious when he always put his family first and was there for us, we were priority. 
    But it was always family that came first in his mind and heart. Thirty-six loving years with Kay filled him with joy. 
    We have all lost a father and mentor. He never missed a school event, applauding louder than anyone else. His hugs were always there when we walked through his door. His curiosity was genuine when he asked how we were doing.
    Orv played euchre with what could only be called craftiness.
    He was a lifelong member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, with his parents being founding members. Orv loved all his pastor's over the years. We give special thanks to Pastor's Bartels and Tweit, for all of their visits in recent months.
    Orv is survived by his wife, Kay; his seven children, Katy Walsvik, Jimalee (Bill) Binn, Valerie (Gary) Klein, Storm (Penny) Walsvik, Gretchen Stohl, Heidi (Chris) Gill and Kara Stohl; nine grandchildren, Adam Walsvik, Jenifer Uphoff, Andrew Sydow, Stephanie and Malorie Binn, Jessie Klein, Gracie Walsvik and Jason and Joshua Gill; a great-granddaughter, Odessa Tober; his loving sister, Deloris (Richard) Danner; a brother-in-law, Robert (Marilyn) Owens; and many nieces and nephews who loved their "Uncle Orv."
    He was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty Thompson Walsvik; a daughter, Tamara Kruzan; two sisters, Beatrice Walsvik and Evelyn (James) Lunder; and a brother, Arnold (Alice) Walsvik.
    Funeral services will be held at HOLY CROSS LUTHERAN CHURCH, 2670 Milwaukee St., Madison, at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006, with the Rev. Mark Bartels presiding.
    Burial will be at Roselawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 24, 2006.
    The family wants to thank Orv's physicians Dr. Robert Pryzbelski and Dr. Art Walaszek from UW Health for their loving care; the staff at Fountain Head Homes; Dr. Ken Robbins and staff at Stoughton Hospital and the "angels" at the Ellen and Peter Johnson HospiceCare Residence.

    "We have all lost a humble hero."

    Gunderson East Funeral & Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420 www.gundersonfh.com



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