Orchard Warder orig photo

Warder Franklin John Orchard

October 2, 1916 to December. 16, 2017

Warder was born October 2,1916 in the Deerwood area west of Miami where he lived his life farming until the age of 80 all the while pursuing many life long interests .

Early in his farming career hard work was central as Warder cleared many acres of his land by hand with axe and grub hoe and later enjoyed the comfort of his John Deere tractors.  Many of the acres he cleared were never summer fallowed. In the days before the bulldozer, big trees were taken down by chopping off the top roots and "letting the wind do the rest ".

His farming day always started with a breakfast of bacon and eggs and he seldom missed a 15 minute nap after lunch.

When Deerwood school closed the farm was on the wrong side of the road so Gail could not go to Miami school. The solution was to own land in the school district so Warder bought the Glendenning quarter and Gail went to Miami School. He then started clearing bush to create a series of small fields along the creeks and he named most of them with names like  "God's little acre".

New ideas made his farm a success. Up on the hill, there were always stones to be picked so they were made useful by creating small dams in the water runs to slow erosion on his sloping fields. In the 50's the use of fertilizer enabled the start of continuous cropping and the elimination of summer fallow. The new crop rapeseed (canola), was his financial saviour when Board grains didn't make enough money to survive. Warder was into conservation and sustainable farming before it was a "good idea ". He was a seed grower who farmed well and farmed smart.


Farming was not all work and on rainy days Warder would meet friends at the Altamont Hotel for a sometimes lengthy exchange of wisdom on many topics.  Warder had a great sense of humour and when receiving his active farmer award at age 80, at the A and M Soil Service banquet, he literally brought down the house of over 500 attendees in his thank you remarks.  Music, singing, and poetry were a lifetime love. He self taught both piano and organ, played horn in the 1967 Centennial band, sang tenor with Irwin Madill, Frank and Murry Stockford in the Altamont quartet in the 60's and for many years in the Miami United Church choir.  Gifted with a great memory he delivered many Masonic lectures. Robert Service poetry was a special love and he could recite line and verse of many of Service 's best and on special request would deliver the censored version. At his 101'st Birthday Party, he sang Danny Boy and recited The Shooting of Dan McGrew. He was still solving Sudoko puzzles last week. 

Warder, a crack shot, grew up hunting with family and friends to put meat on the table because Herefords were for income. He learned to shoot with brother Eddie , his Deerwood friends, the Madills, Taylors and others, and he and Irwin Madill were often allowed only one round at the turkey shoots so that others would have a chance to win. For years he was part of the successful, fun loving Altamont deer hunting group: Irwin Madill, brother-in-law Norman King, and Freddie Bourier.  A high light of his hunting years was going out in a three generation party, and witnessing his grandson Eric bag a four point buck.  Warder was a man of many interests. He was a good boxer and wrestler, both skills honed with his brother and Deerwood friends. To pass the winter of 1961, Warder and his neighbours drove to Morden to take conversational French lessons. Warder found and collected arrow heads and other aboriginal  artifacts until in his 90's . His collection today can be found in the Miami Museum. He loved to travel and enjoyed many years of winter vacations with Marge.  He was disappointed when their trip to Jerusalem was cancelled due to unrest in the area. 

He enjoyed summer gardening and supplied many with fresh produce. When potatoe production started in the area, he and Geordie Knox would gather the potatoes missed by the harvester and provide anyone in town who needed a winter supply. They became such a familiar presence that the fellows on the diggers would "miss" the trucks for a few feet to make it easier gathering for the older gentlemen. 

Warder enjoyed many friends: in farming, in Masonry, in music , in collecting artifacts, and in playing pool at the Senior Centre.

Warder, Pop, Dad, Grampa , Great-Grampa will be fondly remembered and sadly missed but he was ready to go ‘home’.  He loved us all.


Warder leaves to mourn his daughter, Gail Snider (Richard) son, Donald Orchard (Janie), grandchildren, Tanya Tichon (Wayne), Geoffrey Snider (Alicia),Teresa Snider (Mike Link), Eric Orchard, Arlene Orchard and Onalee Orchard (Steve Arnott) and 10 great grandchildren;Brent,Kyle, Amy Tichon ,Russell,Vanessa Snider, Erin, Dylan,Justin Link, Oscar, Archie Arnott,and his sister Nora McConnell, and sister-in-law Catherine Orchard. He was predeceased by his first wife, Muriel (King) in 1975 and by his second wife Marge (Nordquist) in 2010, his brother Edward and sisters Wilma, Amy Alma and Rose.

Memorial donations may be made to the Miami United Church.

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Doyles Funeral Home
Hwy. 3&13 10-4th Avenue SE, Carman, MB
Phone:  204.745.2045 | Fax: 204.745.2499