The Obit For Elmer Orella

Elmer Joseph Orella
April 15, 1921 - February 15, 2012

Published in Inside Bay Area on February 19, 2012

Resident of Hayward
Our beloved Elmer passed away at the age of 90 in the loving presence of his family after a period of declining health.

Elmer was born in Hayward and raised on his Portuguese family's farm in "Hungrytown".
His parents, Joe and Belle, taught him the value of hard work, the importance of family, and a love for all living things.

He graduated from the old Hayward High in 1939 with his "uptown" sweetheart, Fern Schilling.

After marrying Fern in Reno, he served in the US Army during World War II, and later returned home where he and Fern raised three daughters: Janet, JoAnne, and Jeanne Marie.

Fern and Elmer just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Besides Fern and the girls, Elmer's other great love was baseball.

A Hayward High baseball phenomenon, Elmer was a star left-handed pitcher for the Farmers. Dubbed "Elmer the Great" and Elmer "No Hit" Orella by local sportswriters, he signed a pro baseball contract with the San Francisco Seals at age 18. Seals' manager Lefty O'Doul said of Elmer, "That kid has the best control of any young pitcher I have seen in any training camp." He played for the Seals until 1946, when his baseball career was ended by an injury to his pitching hand. He made lifelong friendships with other players from the Pacific Coast League, and loved getting together to talk about their glory days.

Elmer also coached local Babe Ruth and Connie Mack teams for many years.

After baseball, Elmer owned two gasoline stations in Hayward, then went on to a career in sales for Vitakes and Markstein Beverage Distributors.

Retiring in 1983, he enjoyed taking road trips with Fern, boating on the Delta, tending his vegetable garden, raising orchids, and making us laugh.

Elmer's quiet strength, innate goodness, and gentle teasing will be missed by all who knew him.

Elmer is survived by his beloved wife Fern, daughters Janet George of Brentwood, JoAnne Kramer Gross of Hayward, and Jeanne Marie Linda (Tom) of Castro Valley. Grandchildren Tony (Carolyn), Valerie (Greg), Ryan (Elizabeth), Michael (Ashley), Samantha, Dana, Todd, and Jeremy.

Great grandchildren Derek, Will, Kennedy, Alicia, Jake, Victoria, Vanessa, Veronica, Sebastian, Adrian, and Sabrina. Nephew Charles (Nadine).

He is predeceased by infant son Norman Frederick, dear sister Lillian, and nephew Milton; we know they are together again.

Friends and family are invited to a visitation on Tuesday, February 21st, from 10am-12 noon, followed by funeral service at 12 noon at Holy Angels Funeral Home, 1051 Harder Road, Hayward. Burial to follow at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society .