Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Orton Shirk Bechtel

Male 1902 - 1974  (72 years)


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  • Name Orton Shirk Bechtel 
    Born 18 Jun 1902  Baden, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Business Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Bechtel Funeral Service 
    Bechtel Funeral Service invoice
    Bechtel Funeral Service invoice
    Showing Orton Bechtel and partner Christian Dresinger. Original with Marion Roes 2015
    Religion 1911  Baden, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Evangelican 
    Residence 1974  701 Avondale Ave., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-214754 
    Died 27 Dec 1974  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Woodland Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I214754  Generations
    Last Modified 12 Jun 2019 

    Father Gideon Bock Bechtel,   b. 27 Jul 1871, Haysville, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Sep 1950, Baden, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Mother Emma Shirk,   b. 21 Jan 1872, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Jul 1943, Baden, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Married 25 Jun 1901  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F191336  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Adelyn May Wright,   b. 6 Aug 1898, Biddulph Township, Middlesex Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jun 1978, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 21 Oct 1927  Shakespeare, Perth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Ruth Bechtel
     2. Norma Bechtel
     3. Mary Joan "Joan" Bechtel,   b. 24 Jan 1930, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jan 1993  (Age 63 years)
    Last Modified 14 Jun 2019 
    Family ID F47617  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 18 Jun 1902 - Baden, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBusiness - Bechtel Funeral Service - - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Evangelican - 1911 - Baden, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 21 Oct 1927 - Shakespeare, Perth Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1974 - 701 Avondale Ave., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 27 Dec 1974 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Woodland Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Orton S. Bechtel
    Orton S. Bechtel
    from the Stager Family Collection 2014

  • Notes 
    • Orton S. Bechtel, 72-year-old dean of funeral directors in the Twin Cities, died today at K-W Hospital. During his 56 years in the business, Mr. Bechtel directed the funerals of more than 10,000 people. He was the owner of the Ratz-Bechtel Funeral Home until 1967 and served as its president until 1970, although he continued to be associated with the funeral home on a part-time basis. Mr. Bechtel started his business as the O. S. Bechtel Funeral Home in 1925 on Queen Street South in a building which later housed a bake shop and restaurant. This building was torn down to make way for the extension of Charles Street some years ago. In 1928, Edward E. Ratz, then mayor of Kitchener, joined the firm as a partner and the name was changed to Ratz-Bechtel Ltd. In 1930 the business was moved to larger quarters at 178 Queen St. S., Kitchener now occupied by the Gruhn Funeral Home. In 1949, the business was moved to its present location, 621 King St. W., formerly the home of Kitchener industrialist A. R. Kaufman. A strong dislike for dust in his father's Baden flour mill prompted the 16-year-old Bechtel to give what was then called the "undertaking" business a try. His first job was as helper at Werlich's furniture store and funeral parlor in Preston. His duties included grooming the horses which pulled old-fashioned hearses and hacks, delivering furniture and generally assisting James Wright, the funeral director. After a short apprenticeship and working a year for A. G. Schreiter, a Kitchener funeral director, Mr. Bechtel left for Toronto where he alternately worked for funeral homes and attended embalming school for six years before returning to Kitchener. Funeral directors and their assistants in those days wore tall silk hats, long tails and black gloves. The last time he wore "those fancy clothes" was in 1922 as a professional pallbearer for Sir John Eaton. In a 1967 interview, Mr. Bechtel recalled that roads were bad in the 1920s, especially the country roads in winter. "I remember many a time I would have to hitch a horse and use a cutter to go and pick up a body. Sometimes the harness broke and I would nearly freeze to death trying to fix it." Mr. Bechtel once said that funeral homes have done much to relieve families of unnecessary strain in times of grief. "Today we dress normally, talk normally and no longer have gloomy atmospheres in funeral homes. All this helps put families at ease during periods of stress. Mr. Bechtel lived at 701 Avondale Ave., Kitchener, and is survived by his wife, three daughters, two brothers, a sister and seven grandchildren. The funeral will be conducted in Kitchener on Sunday at 2 p.m


      Kitchener-Waterloo Record 27 Dec 1974

      ________________________

      Bechtel, Orton S. - At the K-W Hospital on Friday Dec. 27, 1974, Orton Shirk Bechtel of 701 Avondale Ave., Kitchener, aged 72 years. Mr. Bechtel was born in Baden; a son of the late Gideon Bechtel and the former Emma Shirk; a life-long resident of the Twin City area and a member of Zion United Church. (Mr. Bechtel founded the Ratz-Bechtel Funeral Home in 1925 and continued its operation until 1967.) Husband of Adelyn M. Wright; father of Joan (Mrs. Douglas O. Hallman), Mrs. Ruth Thompson and Norma Bechtel, all of Kitchener; brother of Edna (Mrs. Clifford Mills) of Chesley, Laroyd S. Bechtel of Waterloo (Bridgeport) and Clayton P. Bechtel of Kitchener; seven grandchildren also survive; Mr. Bechtel was predeceased by two sisters, Irene and Alice (Mrs. Harry Ashcroft). Friends may call at the Ratz-Bechtel Funeral Home, 621 King St. West, Kitchener after 10 a.m. on Saturday, funeral and committal service in the chapel Sunday at 2 p.m. with Rev. F. J. Roberts officiating. Interment will be in the family plot in Woodland Cemetery.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1507] Census - ON, Waterloo, Baden - 1911, Baden Div. 13 Page 16.

    2. [S2488] aaa Vit - ON - Marriage Registration, marriage certificate.
      Name:Gideon Bechtel Age:29 Birth Year:abt 1872 Birth Place:Haysville Marriage Date:25 Jun 1901 Marriage Place:Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Father:Amos Bechtel Mother:Katie Bechtel Spouse:Emma Sherk