Orville James Boggess

July  7, 1929 – Jan. 12, 2020

Orville James Boggess went home to be with his Savior and Lord Jan. 12, 2020, after a short illness. 

He was born in Flatwillow, Mont., on July 7, 1929, to Viola Clark Boggess and Roy Orville Boggess. He grew up in Montana, attending elementary school in Ryegate and Billings. 

He graduated from Billings Senior High in 1947. He served in the United States Army as a radio operator in Korea, working in KMAG, Korean Military Advisory Group. He was awarded the Bronze Star in February 1953.


He met the love of his life, Girtie Lou (Polly) Johnson, while on leave in the San Francisco Bay area. They were married Jan. 24, 1954, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, San Leandro, Calif. They had two daughters and made their home in Lovell. 

Orville opened Boggess Construction along with his parents. He continued to own and operate the company until his retirement. He was active in the Land Improvement Contractors of America.

Orville was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lovell. While visiting his daughters in Tennessee and Florida he was active at Faith Lutheran Church, Thompson Station, Tenn., and Trinity Lutheran Church in Orlando, Fla.

Music was important to Orville his whole life. In 1939 he played the violin at the World’s Fair in San Francisco. He played violin, clarinet and saxophone in the school orchestra and band. He played big band style music on the clarinet and saxophone at local dances in the Billings area. He inspired all of his grandchildren to play violin.

Orville loved his Lord, his family, his country and his cowboy hats. He enjoyed gardening, hunting and fishing. He loved going to the family cabin that he helped build.  Spending time with family brought much joy to him. He talked to both daughters every day when he was not visiting them in person. 

He is survived by his two daughters, Shirreen (Rev. Craig) Fiebiger and Desiree (Rev. Doug) Kallesen; a sister, Leatha Rush, of Billings; four grandchildren, Karsten Kallesen, Jaron Kallesen, Ethan Kallesen (Claudia) and Tara (James) Boyd; and two great-grandchildren, Anders Kallesen and Luciana Kallesen. He had two step-grandchildren, Gary Markley and Candace Knight, four step-great-grandchildren and one step-great-great-grandchild. He had many dearly loved nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Viola and Roy Boggess, and his wife of 54 years, Girtie Lou (Polly) Boggess.

Visitation will be Thursday, Jan. 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Haskell Funeral Home and at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lovell, prior to the funeral. The funeral service will be Friday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Interment will be at the Lovell Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lovell, or the charity of your choice.