Orlo George Sterba, 84, of Munster, IN passed away on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Sterba.He is survived by his daughter, Martha Gordon of Highland, IN; sister, Olga (late Henry) Hoesley of La Crosse, Wis.; nephew, Todd Hoesley of La Crosse, Wis.
A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Kish Funeral Home, 10000 Calumet Ave. Munster, IN. Friends visited with the family on Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the ASPCA American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 424 E. 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128-6804, Attention Gift Processing Center. Please state donation made in memory of Orlo G. Sterba.
For those of you who knew Orlo, you knew him by his happy and jolly smile and his loving eyes. He loved to laugh and he loved to make others laugh. He was an optimistic man and tried not to dwell on the negativity in the world.
Orlo was born in Hillsboro Wis., on a quaint dairy farm. He grew up in a small white farm house on the top of a hill overlooking the beautiful rich land. There was a big red barn, dairy cows and chickens. It was hard work on the farm but he got to enjoy the peaceful beauty, clean air and wholesome living. His parents were George and Libby Sterba. He also has one sister, Olga, who lives in LaCrosse Wis., along with his nephew Todd Hoesley.
When he left home as a young man, he spent several years at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he studied design. This education helped him later in life when he owned a floral shop and eventually sold furniture at John M. Smythe and Marshall Field’s. He could take a bunch of mixed flowers and easily arrange them into something beautiful! He was also gifted at decorating homes and arranging furniture.
In 1958 he married Elizabeth Hildenbrand and one year later they had their only daughter, Martha. The family lived in Lombard, IL until 2000, when Orlo and Liz moved to Plainfield, IL. They went on many nice vacations throughout their life; going to California, Florida or taking a cruise. But, their favorite place to visit was always the rolling hills of Wisconsin.
Orlo loved music. When he was young, he played the trumpet and sang in a quartet. He liked classical music and after he retired at 65, he took piano lessons. He played a variety of music but really enjoyed Billy Joel songs. He became quite a gifted pianist and would play for Liz before bedtime when she would sing along to her favorites!
Orlo was a hard worker, always keeping his home and yard immaculate! He was a loving husband who sacrificed later in life to care for his sick wife. He was a wonderful father who was always there for Martha when she needed him.
He loved animals. The Sterbas had a basset hound and several cats while in Lombard. But the loves of his life were Mr. Magoo (his 20 pound Maine Coone) and Roxy (his princess) who both kept him company when he was alone in Plainfield.
After his wife died in 2008, the loneliness took a toll on him and in 2010 he moved to Hartsfield Village in Munster, Indiana, near his daughter, Martha. He had his own assisted living apartment. He loved his new home so much – it was the perfect place for him. Almost daily he said, “Martha, I really love it here.” He made so many friends and was loved by everyone. He enjoyed dancing with the ladies, and playing games.
Orlo was a spiritual man and frequently prayed for others in the privacy of his home. God helped to heal him and comfort him during the difficult times. He enjoyed all types of church services. It didn’t matter to him what the sign on the front of the church said!
And lastly, Orlo loved children. He would stop and watch them anywhere; in a restaurant, at family gatherings or at church. His face would light up every time he saw a child running around or playing.
What a blessed life Orlo lived. What a joy it was to know him. He will be missed.