Gary William Orr

7 entries
  • "Gary has been a family friend for years and we will miss..."
    - Scott Stromer
  • "We are so sorry to hear of Garys' passing. Our hearts go..."
    - Bob and Barbara Burke
  • "My favorite boss (employer:))of all time... since working..."
    - Marcus Sanders
  • "I cannot express how much I miss Gary.. I am so sorry :c"
    - Ata B
  • "Our deepest sympathies to all of you on the passing of..."
    - Kate Kresse
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Gary William Orr passed away peacefully on December 12, 2016 in Bellingham at the age of 83. Gary was born August of 1933 in Ellensburg, WA to Perry and Evelyn Orr of Naches, WA. Raised in the Cascades, he was an Eagle Scout and enjoyed the mountains as a young man. Gary was a three-sport letterman for Naches High before graduating in 1951. He attended Central Washington College of Education (now CWU) where he met Loretta King ("The best thing that ever happened to him") of Sunnyside, WA and married her in 1953. Gary graduated from CWU in 1955 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He received his aviator wings in 1956 after completing his fixed wing training at Lubbock, Texas in the B-25 "Mitchell Bomber." Gary continued his training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas where he received his rotary wing rating. His first duty assignment was Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda where he was assigned to Air-Sea Rescue duties flying the H-19 helicopter. Gary was credited with the rescue of military and civilian personnel during his tenure including the rescue of a fellow pilot who was forced to ditch his aircraft in the Atlantic over ninety miles East of Bermuda. That pilot later described the arrival of the rescue aircraft as "the grandest thing he had ever seen." Gary went on to serve at assorted bases in Texas and South Dakota supporting Nuclear Missile Silos and other logistics roles. Gary flew thousands of hours during his Air Force career, served as a standardization pilot for the 8th Air Force, and was a truly talented aviator. After serving 8 years with the U.S. Air Force, Gary departed the service and moved to Missoula, MT where he owned and operated his own business for several years. He departed Missoula and in 1969, moved to Bellingham where he was an employee with Foster & Marshall Investment Company. In 1971, Gary became a stockholder and General Manager of Pacific Concrete Industries where he remained for over forty years. He will be remembered as a patriot, honest and trustworthy businessman, wonderful husband, and proud father of each of his children. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Loretta Orr, and his three children: daughters Shannon Orr, Crystal Orr Henderson (and husband Michael), and son LTC Perry Orr, USA, ret. A celebration of Gary's life will be held Saturday, December 17 at 1:00 pm at Moles Farewell Tributes, 2465 Lakeway Dr. Bellingham. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Heifer International at
Published in Bellingham Herald on Dec. 16, 2016
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