Macyl Keith Orman, age 90, entered his Eternal Heavenly Home on February 27, 2017, surround by his beloved family singing “I’ll Fly Away” and hearing the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful Servant.”
Known as “an officer and a gentleman,” Macyl was born in Floyd County, Texas, on February 13, 1927, to Minnie Alice Childress and Percy Lee Orman, farmers. At age 16, his mother entered Heaven, and Macyl and his dad moved to town. Two years later, his dad married Macyl’s fifth-grade teacher, Ruby Norton.
Hard work was not foreign to Macyl, as he joined his dad after school at the local Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store and sold tickets, popcorn, and Cokes at the movie theater on weekends. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord when he was 16 during a summer tent revival, then attended the Methodist church with his high school friends. Learning to fly his best friend’s father’s plane, Macyl performed a few daring antics above the cotton farms of Floyd County. He graduated from Floydada High School in 1945, where he was president of his class, and a member of the FHS football team, serving as “bench warmer” at games.
Immediately drafted into the Army, Macyl was trained in artillery at Fort Knox, Kentucky, but was then sent to Fort Meyers after it was discovered he was an excellent typist. After 1½ years, he was honorably discharged and pursued his lifelong dream of attending Texas A&M College, made possible by the GI Bill. Enrolling in January 1947 as an agricultural engineering major, he quickly discovered that agricultural education was a better “fit.” Macyl was a member of the TAMC Corps of Cadets B Battery Artillery Group. He was also a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and was appointed to the Sul Ross Honor Guard. His senior year, he was appointed to Staff of the Second Battalion, D Battery.
Upon his graduation, Macyl worked for the Veterans Administration teaching night classes to recent war veterans in Canyon, Texas. He was called up by the U.S. Army to serve in the war from 1951 to 1953, being stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, then shipped to Germany from New Orleans. When the Korean War ended, Macyl was honorably discharged and then enrolled at Texas Technical College. While there, he was a member of the Block and Bridle Club and graduated with a master’s degree in agriculture in 1954. Upon graduation, Macyl was recruited by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service to be the assistant agricultural agent for Potter County (Amarillo).
In February 1955, he attended a state 4-H workshop in Kerrville, where he met a stunning brunette from Burnet. Little did he realize, he was getting a “package deal” with Lillie Beth’s cute blonde-headed 5-year-old daughter. After a proper long-distance courtship, they were married November 23, 1955, at Burnet Methodist Church. Then followed an exciting railroad trip to Chicago for their honeymoon.
Immediately after their marriage, the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad approached Macyl to become their first and only agricultural agent. It was then the Orman family moved to Fort Worth, where they lived for 12 years. Macyl was an important part of weekend ranch activities at his father-in-law’s ranches all over Texas. While with the FWDRR, Macyl was a lobbyist and then appointed land and tax commissioner. Annually, Macyl and his family entertained high officials at the Will Rogers Coliseum and Back Stage Club, watching the rodeo from the FWDRR box seats. One year, he announced the FWSS Steer Show and embarrassed Lillie Beth as she walked through the barn.
Macyl was a member of Westcliff Methodist Church, helping it to grow and expand. He supported his children’s 4-H and Crowley Riding Club activities and even managed to find time to help them with homework when not on the road. Macyl supported his children with livestock preparation, showing, and driving them to numerous local and state stock shows. He was able to obtain tickets for Glenna Bell and himself to attend the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast honoring President Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
Macyl continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves all his life, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
After 15 years with the railroad, Macyl accepted the position as appraiser with the Veterans Land Board. The Orman family then moved to Burnet County and purchased the historic Four Oaks Ranch on County Road 108. Immediately engaging in community activities, Macyl was treasurer then Lifetime Member of the Burnet County Fair & Rodeo Association and secretary and board member of the Burnet County Farm Bureau. He and Lillie Beth spent numerous hours in rodeo stands and auditoriums watching their children Glenna Bell and Cody participate in competitions, rodeos, and livestock and horse shows.
Macyl was a dedicated and loyal member of First United Methodist Church, where he served on numerous committees. He was a member of the Genesis Sunday School class, sang in the Joy Choir, and met regularly on Saturday mornings with the Men’s Breakfast Study Group at local cafes. His greatest joy was raising two responsible and industrious children, Glenna Bell and Cody Lee. As grandchildren and great-grandchildren arrived, his life was joyfully filled with visits to their numerous school and sports activities and family social gatherings.
An insatiable reader, Macyl owned and donated thousands of books to the local Herman Brown Free Library of Burnet County. He was a member of the Republican Party and loved to debate with his Democratic friends. Before Lillie Beth’s passing, they traveled extensively both in the U.S. and overseas.
Macyl was preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, Lillie Beth Bell Orman; his parents, Minnie Alice Childress Orman and Percy Lee Orman; and stepmother, Ruby Norton Orman. Also, his brothers and sister preceded him: W.L. Orman, Virgil N. Orman, and Oleta Orman Collier.
He is survived by his daughter, Glenna Bell Orman; son, Cody Lee Orman and wife Glenda; brother-in-law, Cody Mood Bell Jr. and wife Donna; and sister-in-law, Kaethe Orman of Germany and Sacramento, California. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Nathan Orman and wife Lanie, Crissy Alderman, Jessica Beth Orman Kates and husband Kyle, and Dustin Keith Orman and girlfriend Bo Sadler. Macyl’s great-grandchildren are as follows: Lilly and Nicolette Orman, Blake and Bryson Box, Cordyn Alderman, Maylee, Travis Kates, and canine Augustus McCrae “Gus” Orman (Dachshund). Macyl’s nieces, nephews, nieces, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins are too numerous to mention but lovingly remembered. Other special members of the family are Vicente Landaverde, who has worked at the Four Oaks Ranch for 31 years, and Ze Yeo “Mike” Zhang, a Chinese exchange student currently living with Glenna Bell. He will be missed by his Aggie brothers, the B Battery Boys who meet for a reunion every year.
The family is especially grateful to Linda Humphrey, his loving and conscientious caregiver of three years, Bo Sadler, R.N., who managed his final days’ health care, Kindred Hospice, Pastors Jason Teague, Calvin Jones, Buddy Johnson of First United Methodist Church in Burnet, and the Rev. Tommy Bie of St. Luke’s Cypress Mill Episcopal Church.
The Orman family cannot express enough how meaningful it has been to have the community friends’ and family members’ support during Macyl’s past and recent medical challenges.
Memorials may be given in Macyl’s honor to First United Methodist Church in Burnet, the American Cancer Society, or the Herman Brown Free Library in Burnet.
Macyl’s visitation is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Burnet. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 3, at First United Methodist Church in Burnet with the Revs. Jason Teague and Calvin Jones. Interment will follow at Lakeland Hills Memorial Park on Park Road 4, then a reception honoring Macyl’s life will follow at the Family Center of First United Methodist Church in Burnet.
Pallbearers that will be serving at the Celebration of Life are: Cody Mood Bell III, John Wiley Bell, Bill Felps, Michael L. Jones, Kyle Kates, Vicinte Landaverde, Dustin Keith Orman and Gene O. Parker Jr.
Honorary pallbearers serving are: Cody Mood Bell Jr., Gene Bird, Ray A. Cagle, Bill Edwards, Hudson Glimp, Lane Goar, Bill Orman, Larry Orman, Bill Schumann, Randy Shelburn, Philip Smitherman, and Hap Zimmerman.