Orlin James Church of Rockford, IL, passed away peacefully on November 19, 2022, at the age of 88, in his home at the Bickford House surrounded by his loving family and special companion. Orlin was born on July 24, 1934 in Lake Crystal, MN. He attended Rockford Schools and Rockford Business College. He married Maranette Church on April 21, 1951 and they were happily married for 67 years before her death in 2018. They were blessed with two children, 3 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Orlin worked as an electrician at National Lock in Rockford for 30 years. After his retirement, he worked as the City of Rockford Electrical Inspector until the northwoods of Wisconsin were calling him. He and Mara soon moved to Sarona, WI where they spent the next 25 years. Orlin worked as a maintenance man at the Best Western Hotel in Rice Lake, WI and also as a school bus driver, all while enjoying his favorite hobbies such as fishing and hunting.
In 2013, he and Mara relocated back to Rockford, IL where he continued to be a man who could fix anything and loved the challenge. Orlin also enjoyed traveling and camping and was a true outdoorsman. He was an avid Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs fan and rarely missed the games on TV.
He was a life member of the Cherry Valley Masonic Lodge #173. He also belonged to several Ham Radio clubs through the years, which he was very passionate about. He was a member of the Boxing with Parkinson’s group in Rockford, as well.
He was a good friend to many and above all he was the most special and wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He met his special companion, Evelyn, after moving to independent living and they had three enjoyable years together. They loved playing cards, Bingo, an assortment of games and movie nights together.
Orlin is survived by his sister, Vyla King; daughter, Peggy (Rodger) Swing; son, James Church; grandchildren, Alison (Andy) Salo, Amy (Tony) Mangano, Michael (Jaymee) Church; great-grandchildren, Ava Salo, Aiden Salo, Alayna Mangano, Elise Mangano, Marcus Church; step-grandchildren, Kim (Jeff) Loendorf, Andrea (Ben Otwell) Kaiser; step-great-granddaughter, Kendall Loendorf; and special companion, Evelyn Holley. Predeceased by parents, Edna (Ferrier) Church and Orlin Church; wife of 67 years, Maranette Church; sisters, Mary Livingston, Clara Wienke; brothers, Kenneth Church and Leroy Church.
Celebration of life will be held at 1:30 PM on Sunday, November 27, 2022 in Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory – Mulford Chapel, 4311 N. Mulford Road, Loves Park. Memorials may be made to Knock Out Parkinson’s (KOP, INC.), 7135 Clinton Rd., Loves Park, IL 61111 or at knockoutparkinsonsinc.org.