Kelly Anne Orndorff, 25, of Sartell

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Kelly Anne Orndorff, 25


June 23, 1993-May 10, 2019

Kelly A. Orndorff died peacefully surrounded by her family on Friday, May 10 at her home in Sartell. Her funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 18 at Celebration Lutheran Church, 1500 Pinecone Road N. in Sartell. The Revs. Elizabeth Strenge and Jeff Sackett will officiate, and burial will follow the service. Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Friday, May 17 and one hour prior to the service on Saturday, all at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Sauk Rapids.

Orndorff was born June 23, 1993 in St. Cloud to Paul and Jane (Thornburg) Orndorff. Growing up in Sartell, Orndorff had a wonderful fun-filled life as a youth and young adult. She spent her entire life in Sartell, graduating high school in 2011. Her greatest joy was being a friend to everyone she met and being with her family and closest friends. She was very social and left an impression of love and sincerity to all. In high school she was well liked and respected, as witnessed to being selected Homecoming Queen, a co-captain of the girl’s swim team and co-managing the boys swim team. She loved participating in choir and serving as a mentor to underclassmen.

Orndorff’s family meant the world to her. She looked up to big brothers, Nick and Brent, and enjoyed much humor with them. She relished time with sister, Andrea, as the two shared countless fun hours with each other. As years have passed, she adored sister-in-law Jenni and brother-in-law Jeff and her little nieces and nephew.

Orndorff’s love for God was strong. She was a member of Celebration Lutheran Church her entire life being baptized in July 1993. She participated in many church activities, youth camps and mission trips across the country. She most recently was a youth teacher, a volunteer and a present member of the church council. Our Lord Jesus Christ was her guiding light and his word was her guiding principal. Her faith-filled spirit was felt by everyone she touched.

In May 2015, Orndorff graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a degree in public health, education and promotion; a degree that would have fulfilled her desire to assist others to be their best. A highlight of her college years was during the summer of 2013 when Kelly along with her brother Brent, were youth counselors for the YMCA of The Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, allowing her to guide and mentor youth of all ages. One of her most memorable accomplishments outside of gaining her college degree was climbing Long’s Peak, a very difficult 14,000-foot peak.

Just days after graduating UMD in 2015, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. After numerous surgeries and treatments through the Mayo clinic, she lived cancer-free for more than two years. After Orndorff’s diagnosis and subsequent loss of vision, she was motivated to return to Duluth in 2018 and attend school at the Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss where she learned Braille, technology and to live independently. She enjoyed her time in Duluth where she met her boyfriend Grant. He was a very special person to her and they enjoyed many walks and hammock time together.            

In the last several years, Orndorff had many wonderful trips and experiences. She spent much quality time with her siblings, and with her parents she followed Christian singer Chris Tomlin around the country attending numerous concerts of his.

She loved spending time at the lake home and spent countless hours in the water. She also enjoyed many hours of family time with her sister, brothers and many relatives sitting on the deck.

Orndorff’s loving spirit, positivity, courage, compassion for others, zest for life and glorious faith will be missed by all. She is truly at home now with God.

Survivors include the following: her parents, Paul and Jane; siblings, Nick (Jenni) Orndorff of Camas, Washington, Andrea (Jeff) Maday of St. Paul, and Brent Orndorff of Elk River; nieces and nephew, Sonja and Corinne Orndorff and Leo and Maya Maday; grandfather, Harvey Orndorff; special friend Grant Lichtsinn; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Orndorff was preceded in death by her grandparents, Frances Orndorff and Kenneth and Viola Thornburg; and aunt, Claudia Orndorff.

In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred. The family would prefer to make donations to numerous organizations in memory of Kelly.

Obituary, guestbook and video tribute available online:

Author: Janelle Von Pinnon

Von Pinnon has been publishing the St. Joseph Newsleader since 1989, the Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleader since 1995 and the Sauk Rapids-Rice Newsleader since 2015. She graduated from Minnesota State University-Moorhead with degrees in mass communications (with an emphasis on print journalism) and biology. She lives in southeast St. Cloud with her husband and two children.

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