Orpha Stancel

July 2, 1922-June 9, 2021

Orpha Stancel, 98,

passed away on June 9th

in Williston, N.D. Fun-

eral Services will be at

1:00 PM, Saturday, June

12, 2021 at the Trinity

Lutheran Church in

Drake, ND. Burial will be

in the Drake City

Cemetery. Visitation will

be one hour prior to the

services at the church. Ar-

rangements by Nelson

Funeral Home, Drake, ND.

Orpha was born in rural

Kief, N.D. on July 2, 1922,

to Edward and Margaret


Schmidt. The family

moved to Drake, N.D.

when she was 5 years old

and resided there through

the Depression years until

1939 when they moved to

Williston. Orpha graduat-

ed from Williston High

School in 1940. Following

graduation, she moved

back to Drake where she

worked as a telephone

operator. She met her fu-

ture husband, George

Stancel, at a dance that

year. With the onset of

WW II she moved to De-

troit in 1942 to work in a

defense plant making

machined airplane parts

and in 1944 she moved to

Seattle to work for the

Railway Express Agency.

After the war she returned

to Williston and worked

at Heddrick’s clothing

store until her marriage to

George in 1948. They

lived in several towns

during his employment

with the Soo Line Rail-

road, finally moving back

to Drake in 1958 where

they lived until 2013. Or-

pha was a member of the

Trinity Lutheran Church

of Drake, was active in its

women’s organization,

Sunday school, and the

church council. She also

served on the Drake Park

Board and was a

long-time member of the

American Legion and

VFW auxiliaries. Orpha

was a wonderful wife, a

devoted mother and a loy-

al friend. She had a wry

sense of humor and was

warm and welcoming to


Her survivors include:

her sons Steven of West

Linn, OR, and Robert of

Williston, four grandsons

Christopher, Bradley,

Jeremy, and Michael, a

granddaughter Jessica and

nine great grandchildren.

She was preceded in

death by: her husband

George, her sisters Violet

and Delores, and her

brother Lyle.

Memorial preferred to

the Drake City Cemetery

or the donor’s choice.