Cover photo for Orville Portz's Obituary
Orville Portz Profile Photo
1934 Orville 2022

Orville Portz

August 5, 1934 — December 26, 2022

Remsen, IA

Orville Matthew Portz, age 88 of Remsen, IA, passed away on December 26, 2022 at Heartland Care Center in Marcus surrounded by his family. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen, IA with Father Timothy Pick officiating and Deacon Doug Heeren assisting.  Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Remsen, IA.  Graveside military honors will be conducted by V.F.W. Post 3328 and American Legion Post 220 of Remsen.  Visitation with family present will be 4-7 p.m. on Monday, there will be a K of C rosary and vigil prayer service at 5 p.m. all at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen.  Visitation will resume on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home.  Services have been entrusted to the Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen.  The funeral will be live-streamed and online condolences may be sent at 

Orville was born August 5, 1934, at home on a farm in Granville, IA, the son of Raymond and Clarinda (Haupert) Portz. He attended country school through 6th grade, then attended St. Joseph Catholic Schools in Granville, IA, graduating in 1952.

Orville worked in a packing plant for a short period after graduation, before transitioning to the Farmers Co-Op in Granville and Paullina, IA. He volunteered to join the United States Army in December 1954 and served stateside for two years.  

On May 7, 1956, he married Joan Ahlers at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen, IA. They returned to Tacoma, Washington to finish his service in the Army.  Upon completion of his service, they moved back to Iowa to the Andrew Ahlers’ farm north of Remsen where they farmed and raised their family.  Orville and Joan were blessed with four children, Karen (1959), Steve (1960), Laurie (1963) and Randy (1964), nine grandchildren, three great-grandsons and two great-granddaughters. 

In 1960, Orville founded Remsen Mfg. and Repair.  His oldest son, Steve, later joined the business. They did miscellaneous repairs, welding and fabrications and sold feed wagons and various items. Many local men enjoyed a hot cup of coffee or two in the office while solving the world’s problems!  One of Orville’s proudest accomplishments was creating and building the cross with Steve that graces the top of Remsen St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

In 2006, Orville and Joan moved to town in Remsen.  Joan passed away on May 14, 2007.  In May of 2022, Orville moved to his “condo” at Bavarian Meadows.

Orville was a member of the Knights of Columbus, VFW Post 3328, Remsen Color Guard, Catholic Order of Foresters, Remsen St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and the United States Army.  

In his spare time, Orville loved gardening and fishing, especially in Minnesota at West Silent Lake. He enjoyed playing cards in multiple card clubs, watching sports on TV, especially baseball, and attending his grandchildren’s sporting and music events.  He escaped the last several winters, living with his son Randy and daughter-in-law Karen in Georgia, bird watching, soaking up the sun and spending precious time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Left to cherish his memory are his three children, Karen (Maynard) Wolf of Remsen, IA, Laurie (Chris) Bates of Clive, IA, and Randy (Karen) Portz of Cumming, GA, and daughter-in-law Tammy Portz of Remsen; his grandchildren, Ryan Wolf of Remsen, Danika (Ryan) Ogrodny of Nashville, TN, Andrew (Faith) Portz of Columbus, MS, Vanessa Wolf of San Diego, CA, Brandon (Paige) Bates of Austin, TX, Allison Portz of Chicago, IL, Matthew Bates of Minneapolis, MN and Brady Portz of Remsen, IA,  and his great-grandchildren Oliver Wolf, Maddox and Isla Portz, and Cecilia Ogrodny.  Orville is also survived by his siblings Jim (Dolores), Lyle (MaryLynn), Fred Portz, Janice (Mike) Calder, and Michael Portz (Cindy Jones); in-laws Michael Lovely (Sharon Vande Hoef), Janiece and Charles Bohlke, and many nieces and nephews.  

Orville was preceded in death by and joyfully reunited with his wife, Joan; son, Steve; parents, Raymond and Clarinda (Haupert) Portz; father and mother-in-law, Andrew and Angela (Buckley) Ahlers; granddaughter, Marissa Wolf; great-grandson, Malcolm Portz; sister and brother-in-law, Geraldine and Bud Mousel; in-laws, Jean and Gerald Portz, Delores and Raphael Portz, and Patricia Lovely.

Casket bearers will be Ryan Wolf, Andrew Portz, Brandon Bates, Allison Portz, Matthew Bates and Brady Portz.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Remsen St. Mary’s Church.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Orville Portz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, January 2, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Fisch Funeral Home & Monument

310 Fulton Street, Remsen, IA 51050

There will be a K of C rosary and vigil prayer service at 5 p.m. all at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church

121 E 4th St, Remsen, IA 51050

Visitation will resume on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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