Ordell Lee Birkenholtz, 94, of Newton died on Friday, September 15, 2023, at his home. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. The family will greet friends from 10-11 a.m. at the funeral home and again after burial with a lunch at the funeral home. Memorials to the American Legion Post 111 or the Monroe Ambulance may be left at the funeral home.
Ordell, the son of Charlie and Minnie (Thomason) Birkenholtz, was born on May 3, 1929, on the family farm in rural Monroe. He graduated from Newton High School in 1947 and farmed with his dad until he was drafted into the service. On February 18, 1951, he was married to Norma Jean Burk. Ordell served in the Korean War from 1951-1953. While in Korea, he served as a medic and a supply sergeant for the 421st Medical, which supported the Eighth Army in the combat zone. Ordell was awarded the UN service ribbon and the Korean service ribbon with three campaign stars.
Upon returning from Korea, Ordell and Jean raised five children on the family farm until 1983 when they moved to Newton. Ordell continued farming with his son and selling Dekalb and Asgrow seed. He spent winters in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas for 30 years. He enjoyed spending time with friends and competing in shuffleboard tournaments, for which he won multiple trophies. Ordell also enjoyed spending time with Jean and the family including his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Ordell is survived by his wife, Jean; children, Diana Birkenholtz, Denise (Dwight) Etter, Patricia Birkenholtz, Charles Birkenholtz, and Laura (Dan) Wolfe; his five grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and a sister.