C. Bruce Orvis
Bruce Orvis’ life was as large as the land. He founded Bear Valley ski resort at the crest of the Sierra. He acted to preserve his 2,500-acre ranch in the foothills near Farmington, CA, forever. And in the heart of the Central Valley, at Stockton’s College of the Pacific, he played football with future National Football League pro quarterback Eddie LeBaron. Orvis died Dec. 4 after a sudden illness. He was 83.
“Bruce created a community and a major western resort area,” said Eric Jung of Bear Valley, CA, pub- lisher of the Cub Reporter newspaper and author of a history of Bear Valley. Those who knew him said Orvis never boasted of his achievements and never spoke ill of others. “He was a prince of a guy,” LeBaron said. “I had great admiration for him. He was like a big brother to me.” LeBaron said he was 12 and just starting his first year at Oakdale High School when he met Orvis. Orvis was one year ahead of LeBaron in school. Orvis served briefly in the Navy after high school in the final months of World War II. So it happened that LeBaron and Orvis entered college at the same time.
“He basically talked me into going to Pacific,” LeBaron said.
There, LeBaron played quarterback, and Orvis was a running back on a team that went undefeated in 1949. LeBaron went on to professional football, playing seven years for the Redskins and four years for the newly-formed Dallas Cowboys.
Orvis married his wife, Roma, in Morris Chapel on the Pacific campus in January 1949. After the couple graduated in 1950, they returned to the family ranch in Farmington to stay.
“He loved the ranch,” Roma Orvis said. “He loved Bear Valley, too.”
In the 1950s, Bruce Orvis and other members of his family bought land in what would someday be the town of Bear Valley. They already knew the area because, for generations, they had summered cattle there.
The ski resort opened the winter of 1967-68. The resulting ski boom employed hundreds of people in Bear Valley itself and triggered vacationhome building and business development all along Highway 4.
Orvis was also a leader in the cattle industry and had served as a director for the American Hereford Association. In 2006, he and his wife placed their 2,500-acre ranch near Farmington in a conservation easement to ensure it would remain productive ranchland and never be divided up for housing.
Friends say Orvis enjoyed his life to the end. In mid-July, Bear Valley hosted a barbecue for his birthday in the meadow where his family has taken cattle to graze for generations.
Roma Orvis said her husband’s ashes will be scattered on the family
ranch. She said she expects to plan a memorial service after the holidays and hopes to use Morris Chapel.
Karma H. Lacey
Karma Hill Lacey was born in Lo- gan, UT, the fifth child of John Ensign and Ivy Blood Hill of Drummond, MT, on April 28, 1922. She passed away Dec. 6, 2010, at her residence in Salt Lake City, UT, surrounded by her family. She married George Warren Lacey on April 24, 1942, in Logan, UT, later solemnized in the Logan Temple.
She graduated from Utah State Uni- versity, where she was student body vice president and Valedictorian. Her college prepared her to be a music teacher of piano, organ and voice, having as many as 25 students at a time. With her music, her greatest joy was singing duets with her husband, George, and teaching her children to love music. Karma and George returned to the family ranch in 1945 where they raised their six children and were known for their successful registered Hereford operation. Karma’s life revolved around her home, family, children, community, music and church. She was active in 4-H, American Legion Auxiliary, Music
Mothers, P.T.A. and the L.D.S. Church. She enjoyed needle work, knitting and making dozens of beautiful quilted satin bedspreads. Another love was playing the organ for church services. In later years, she and George enjoyed winters in Tucson, AZ, and summers were spent with family and visiting friends at the ranch.
Her husband, George, preceded her in death. She is survived by her four sons: Alan (Sandra), Salt Lake City; Richard (Linda), Drummond, MT; Ken (Nanette), Green River, WY, and Craig (Druann), Heber, UT; and two daughters, Joanne (Richard) Nelson, Salt Lake City, and Marilyn (Greg) Daines, Herndon, VA; 28 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren, and a brother, Lewis Hill, Missoula, MT, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, 12:00 p.m. at the Eastridge Ward followed by interment at Murray City Cemetery.