Orion ‘Sarge’ Collingham, 95, of Aurora, passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2019 in Lincoln at CHI-St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 12 at Messiah Lutheran Church in Aurora. Rev. Sarah Ruch will officiate. Interment will be at the Aurora Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 - 7 p.m. Monday at Messiah Lutheran Church, 415 South 18th Street, Aurora. Memorials may be made to the family to designate at a later date. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.
Orion ‘Sarge’ V. Collingham, the son of Walter and Bessie (Sommers) Collingham, was born on the farm by McCool Junction on May 5, 1923 and passed away in Lincoln on March 9, 2019, at the age of 95.
Sarge worked for Mead Lumber in York before he was married to Mary Frances Schafer on Jan. 25, 1943. At 19 years old Sarge was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the U. S. Army Air Force as well. He served under General Patton in WWII in Bloody Bucket division. Sarge was honorably discharged on December 10, 1945. After Sarge returned home from the Service, they moved to Aurora, where they raised their five children. Sarge worked for Farmer’s Union as well as Bremer Dairy. He had many part-time jobs such as Coast-to-Coast, Shaneyfelt Produce, Dick Carlson and Adolph Nielsen. Sarge worked at Jack & Jill as a butcher, then later on started Collingham Construction. He roofed many, many houses in Aurora and surrounding areas. During all this time, he coached baseball and softball teams.
He was most proud of his 65 years running the down marker as part of the chain gang for the Aurora High School Football team. Sarge missed only one game in all those years, due to heart surgery, but was present on the side line. He said that he saw the football field change locations five times.
Sarge worked together with Bob Ernst and Bob Willis. At one time they had a combined service of 150 years. Later grandsons Bob Smith, Brian Collingham, Shannon York, plus Jim Willis, who took over for his father all served on the chain gang.
Sarge enjoyed ballroom dancing, woodworking and assembling puzzles.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; son, Larry Collingham, Sr.; step-grandson, Darin Johnson; four sisters; two brothers and several nieces and nephews.
Those left to cherish his memory are his four children, Connie (Roger Merchant) Cranston of Aurora; Tom (Joyce) Collingham of Aurora, Karen (Dennis) Johnson of Polk, Keith (Bev) Collingham of Aurora; daughter-in-law, Vicki Collingham of Aurora; 13 grandchildren, Bob (Tonya) Smith, Mary (Jim) Adams, Corrie (Jeff) Carver, T.J. (Jamie) Collingham, Aaron (Ann) Collingham, Jody (Jeff) Shipley, Valerie (Cory) Mescher, Melissa (Greg) Neimann, Brian (Jody) Collingham, Tina Collingham, Larry (Tabatha) Collingham, Jr, Kari (Nalin) Collingham and Nathan Collingham; 33 great-grandchildren, Connor Smith, Parker Smith, Jacob York, Taylor York, Caden Carver, Aubrie Carver, Shelby Collingham, Abigail Collingham, Jacob Mostek, Alex Collingham, Wyatt Collingham, Morgan Collingham, Jessica Shipley, Jordan Shipley, Jenna Shipley, MacKenzie (Isaac) VanEssen, Ava Mescher, Michael Riley, Edith Neimann, Kyle Collingham, Bailey Collingham, Brady Collingham, Caleb Collingham, Deandra Morrison, Addison Pacaj, Destiny Pacaj, Angelo Pacaj, Daylan Pacaj, Haley Turner, JeniLyn Gray, Cadence Jarzynka, Aubrie Collingham and Naveah Collingham and 2 great-great grandchildren, Ka’Liyah Sparks and Brix Willingham (who became the 5th generation Collingham) and many nieces, nephews and friends.