MONROE – Orville James Backus, age 86, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 8, while at his home surrounded by his family.

He was born on May 10, 1936, in Fond Du Lac, the son of Otto C. Backus and Lillian Johanna (Strebing).

He was raised on a farm just south of Campbellsport, near a little town of Elmore, where I grew up and was the eldest of three boys.  He learned at an early age what hard work was all about.

For the first 8 years of school, he attended a one-room school house.

They carried in wood for heat and water to drink, and they pulled the rope to ring the big school bell.

Things got better when he attended high school in Campbellsport, graduating in 1954.

In 1953, at the age of 17, he dedicated his life to Jehovah God and symbolized it by water baptism at the International Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses held in New York City.

Before he was born, his parents became acquainted with the Boccotti family.  In January of 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Boccotti had the last of four children.  Her name was Nancy.

He was born that following May.  Nancy and he grew up together, played together, went to school together and worshipped together.

They were married on October 13, 1956.  They had two children, Emily Backus and Brian James Backus.

Brian married Birgit Maria (Zackman), and they have two children, Russell James and Shelby Maria.

Orville is survived by his wife, Nancy; two children, Emily Backus and Brian (Birgit) Backus; two grandchildren, Russell and Shelby; a brother, Ronald (Patricia) Backus; a sister-in-law, Jeannie Backus; several other nieces; nephews; and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Nancy’s parents; a brother, David Backus, and several other aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.

Per Orville’s wishes, cremation rites will be accorded.  The DL Newcomer Funeral Home in Brodhead is assisting the family.