John T. Orr, 89, of Idaho Falls, passed away at his home Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, surrounded by his family and friends.
He was born Nov. 9, 1923, in Richmond, Mo., to John and Margaret Woods Orr. He was the youngest of four children. John attended schools in Kansas City, Mo., and graduated from Richmond High School in Richmond, Mo.
He continued his education in Kansas City, Mo., at Kansas City Junior College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., and his master's degree from the University of Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo. He furthered his graduate work at Harvard School of Education in Boston.
He served in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 until 1945 in the European Theater with the 514th Squadron of the 406 Fighter Bomber group. During his service, he earned and was awarded the Bronze Star.
John was an elementary school teacher and principal in Kansas City, Mo., public schools for 10 years until he moved to Idaho Falls, where he was the assistant superintendent and later, superintendent of Idaho Falls School District 91. He later worked at Rogers Brothers Company as the personnel, industrial relations and corporate services manager from 1963 until 1976. In 1976, he was invited to join Westinghouse at the INL, where he served as the management development and industrial relations manager until his retirement in 1983.
John married Gwendolyn Heavlin in 1942. She passed away in 1984. He married Yolande C. Waid in 1985. She preceded him in death in 2003.
He was involved with the Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Commission, American Cancer Society and Idaho Falls Rotary Club. He was president of the Idaho Falls YMCA and Idaho Falls Junior Achievement. John was a member and deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Idaho Falls.
He enjoyed golfing, woodcarving, and was known for his quick wit and poignant rhymes.
John was preceded in death by "my girls," Gwen and Yolande; sisters, Jean Morgan and Mary Young; and brother, Jared Orr.
He is survived by his sons, Marc Curtis (Barb) Waid of Salt Lake City and Daniel Robert (Kristin) Waid of Sutherlin, Ore.; granddaughter, Cori Waid of Salt Lake City; cherished family friend, Wendy Bircher of Farmington, N.M.; niece, Betty Jean Bell of Liberty, Mo.; and nephews, James (Ann) Young of Colorado Springs, Colo., Robert Michael (Joan) Seck of Kearney, Mo.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at First Presbyterian Church, 325 Elm St., with the Rev. Dr. Dennis Falasco officiating. The family will visit with friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. prior to services at the church. Interment will be at Fielding Memorial Park in Idaho Falls. Veterans rites will be performed by the Bonneville Veterans Memorial Team and Idaho Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the First Presbyterian Church Capital Fund, 325 Elm St., Idaho Falls, ID 83402.
Online condolences may be sent to www.woodfuneralhome.com.