Monday, March 31st, 2014
Virgil Carl Orr, 94, Rockford, Tenn., formerly of Coldwater, died March 19, 2014, at Blount Memorial Hospital, Maryville, Tenn.
He was born Aug. 15, 1919, in Clinton, Iowa, to Floyd and Carolyn Nyberg Orr. On Nov. 24, 1950, he married Wilna Grace Long, who died Jan. 9, 2013.
Surviving are sons, Carl Orr, Dayton, and Glen Orr, Fort Payne, Ala., and a daughter, Sharon Orr, Rockford, Tenn.
Deceased is an older brother, Eldon, and an infant sister, Cecil Elaine.
He lived in seven states in his life and was a 1937 graduate of Rockford Senior High School, Rockford, Ill. He spent much of his youth working on farms and, at the start of World War II, was raising Angus cattle with his parents and brother on a 500-acre farm in Missouri. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the U.S. Army, where he served over three years and advanced to the rank of Master Sgt. He received training as a draftsman and served as a master gunner, intelligence specialist, and operations NCO in antiaircraft artillery groups, 114th AAA Group and 97th AAA Group, HQ Battery. He spent 15 months in Okinawa and was awarded a Bronze Star.
After the war he received bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Though intending to use his education when he returned to the farm, he began a more than three decades long career with Pet Milk. He worked at various company facilities in Ohio, starting as a field man in the northern part of the state and eventually becoming quality control manager at the Coldwater plant. Retiring after 32 years, he continued to work as a consultant for the company. After retirement, he and his wife remained residents of Coldwater. He relocated to Tennessee when she passed away.
Throughout his life he enjoyed working with his hands. He pursued woodworking, leather carving, and re-upholstery. He also enjoyed singing and was a member of the Sound Waves Chorus Grand Lake Chapter, where he received a Barber Shopper of the Year award in 1994. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. In 2013, he joined fellow veterans as a parade marshal at the 175th Coldwater Community Picnic.
He was an active member of the Coldwater United Methodist Church and later the Bethany United Methodist Church in Celina. Over the years he served as lay leader and Sunday School teacher, was a member of the choir and the religious play "The Twelve," and participated in ecumenical exchanges between denominations.
A graveside service with military honors was held at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, Knoxville, Tenn., on March 26, 2014, under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home, Maryville, Tenn.
A local memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. April 2, 2014, at Bethany United Methodist Church, Celina.
Donations may be made to Bethany men's group or to the United Way in support of a cure for macular degeneration.
Condolences may be expressed by visiting the Memorial Funeral Home, Maryville, Tenn.