Orley "Big O” Sharp, 94 of Harrison passed away peacefully on Monday, April 24th at Gladwin Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Gladwin. Orley was born September 5th, 1928, in Harrison, Michigan, the son of Wallace "Wally” Sharp and Nada (Stockwell) Sharp. Orley graduated from Harrison High School in 1946. On May 12, 1951 in Jefferson City, Missouri, Orley was united in marriage to Miss Pauline Oidtman, whom he met while stationed at Fort Leonard Wood during his assignment with the US Army. He served his country overseas in the Korean War and it was something he was very proud of.
Mr. Sharp had resided in Harrison since 1973, moving back to his hometown after over 20 years in Jefferson City, Missouri. He was a devout Catholic, joining later in life, and was a devoted member of St. Athanasius Catholic Church, Harrison. With his wife Pauline he owned and operated Sharp’s Market of Harrison for over 20 years in addition to Sharp’s U-Pick Strawberries in the late 70’s, Sharp & Son’s Construction with his boys and even a honey business.
Orley was an amazingly diverse man. Not only did he excel in building houses, he was an amazing wood furniture craftsman, which he spent much time doing after they bought the store and closed Sharp & Sons Construction. He loved to hunt, fish, and watch sports. From hunting whitetail in Michigan, to Alaskan Caribou with his son Tim, to catching walleye and bluegill with his son Mike, to strolling the woods for morels, he had a zeal for the outdoors and loved nature.
His greatest talent by far, was storytelling ~ and if you knew him, you’d agree. From jokes, to tall tales, to laying it on the line on what is right or wrong in the world today, he wasn’t shy and he loved to be the source of the giggle or the comment that made you stop and think. Lucky for him, he was a Knight of the Jackpine Round Table, and that was the perfect place to share who he truly was. Orley’s proudest banners if life were: being an American, having a huge, beautiful family, being a Republican, and being a devout Christian.
Surviving Mr. Sharp are seven of his eight loving children: Patrick Sharp of Harrison, Dr. Greg Sharp and wife Michelle of Bellingham, Washington, Timothy Sharp and wife Suzanne of Anchorage, Alaska, Michael Sharp and wife Cindy of Harrison, Terry Sharp and wife Marnie of Hope, Michigan, Molly Willett and husband Scott of Midland, Michigan and Amy Gillespie and husband Tim of Harrison, twenty-five grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, and extended family members. Orley was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife of 70 years, Pauline, his son Anthony "Tony” Sharp, his brother and sister in law Dale "Colonel” and Norma Sharp, his nephew Sam Sharp, and his parents.
Visitation will take place Sunday, April 30, 2023 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Clark-Stocking Funeral Chapel, 165 W. Oak St., Harrison. A Funeral Mass celebrating Orley will be held Monday, May 1, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. with a brief visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. until the time of mass at St. Athanasius Catholic Church, 310 S. Broad Street, Harrison, with Rev. Father J. Marcel Portelli officiating. Military Honors will immediately follow mass. There will be a luncheon at the VFW Post 1075, 3190 N. Clare Avenue, Harrison. Memorial gifts in memory of Mr. Sharp may be considered to: Molly Willett for later distribution to a Veteran’s organization of the family’s choice. To share an online memory or condolence with Orley’s family, please visit: www.clarkstocking.com. Arrangements and care of Mr. Sharp are entrusted with Clark- Stocking Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service, Harrison (989) 539-7810.
The Sharp Family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the staff of the Gladwin Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Gladwin. Since 2019 they have taken fantastic care of Orley, as well as Pauline until her passing in 2021. Knowing that their parents were loved, cared for, and tended to with the attentiveness they would have given them themselves was a great comfort to the family and felt it should be noted.