Annie Lee-Orr-Obituary

Photo courtesy of The J. M. Dunbar Funeral Home & Crematory - Roebuck

Annie Lee Babb Orr

Roebuck, South Carolina

May 31, 1932 – Jan 11, 2020 (Age 87)


May 31, 1932
January 11, 2020
Roebuck, South Carolina


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The J. M. Dunbar Funeral Home & Crematory - Roebuck Obituary

Annie Lee Babb Orr

Moore - Annie Lee Orr of Spartanburg, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on January 11, 2020 at the Spartanburg
Regional Hospital. She was born in Laurens County, SC to the late Stewart Chapman Babb and Ruby Nelson Babb.
She and her late husband of 64 years, Buford Blakey “Bill” Orr, dedicated their lives to aviation and the greater
community of Spartanburg. Lee and Bill owned and operated Orr Aviation in Spartanburg, SC and Shelby Aviation in
Shelby, NC. Lee was also appointed Airport Director for the Shelby Municipal Airport by the City of Shelby, NC.
Unphased by social pressure, Lee obtained her Private Pilot certificate in 1965. She became the first female to become a
Certified Flight Instrument Instructor in Spartanburg County and was honored in 1993 by the Spartanburg Business and
Professional Women’s Club as a First Achiever.
A member of the Ninety-nines’ International Organization of Women Pilots for 49 years, Lee was a founding member of
the Blue Ridge chapter. She served on the Ninety-nines’ Board for 14 years in various capacities: seven years as
Secretary, Vice Governor, and Governor of the Southeast Section: and seven years on the International Board of
Directors. With more than 50,000 plus hours of flight time, she served as a role model for women in aviation as well as a
mentor for countless pilots and colleagues.
A veteran of countless air races, Lee competed in many of the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Races, the Air Race
Classics and the Powder Puff Derbies. In 1988, she received the Amelia Earhart scholarship. She served as Chief Judge for
the National Intercollegiate Flight Competition and served as judge for two World Precision Flight Competitions, with 28
countries competing.
Lee continued to work until her death managing the Flight School Department for Aero II, Inc. Throughout the course of
her career, she taught thousands to fly. She was inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame in 2001.
Lee was an aviation member of NAFI, AOPA, PPD, ARC, Silver Wings, Women in Aviation, the Ninety-nines, United Flying
Octogenarians, Spartanburg Warbirds, Cross Wind Pilots Association, and a lifetime/founding member of the
Spartanburg Pilots Association. The FAA named a navigational instrument approach fix to the Spartanburg Downtown
Airport in honor of Lee Orr. A longtime member and Elder in the Nazareth Presbyterian Church, Lee taught Sunday
School for over 40 years.
Lee is survived by her children, Billi Willauer (Chris) of Spartanburg, SC, Kim Kauer (Kole) of Weaverville, NC, and Babbs
Brown of Greenwood, SC; grandchildren, McCay Baker, Hayley Kauer, and Brandon Kauer; and three remaining siblings,
Sandra Pitts, W.M. Babb, and Stewart Babb (Mary).
Please join us in celebrating her life on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 2pm at Nazareth Presbyterian Church, 680
Nazareth Church Road, Moore, SC 29369, with Pastor Julie Schaff officiating. Visitation immediately following in the
Family Life Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Blue Ridge Chapter of the 99s, c/o Sarah Solesbee, 8204 Ardmore
Spring Circle, Greenville, SC 29615 (Please include phone number on check), or Nazareth Presbyterian Church, 680
Nazareth Church Road, Moore, SC 29369.
A private internment will be held at a future date in the Columbarium at Nazareth Presbyterian Church.

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She was a wonderful lady . We were all very blessed to have known her.

My heartfelt condolences to the family of Annie Lee, who has been a life long
friend since childhood as our families were very close. She was Matron of Honor at my
wedding. Annie Lee was notably a sincere and kind person, unchanging, exceptionally good natured,
dependable, supportive, always encouraging, and with a gracious smile. Having flown with
her, a darn good pilot as well! God has surely welcomed this lovely person into Heaven.
She will be greatly...

Lee was a fantastic lady, I worked for her at the Shelby airport as a flight instructor, god bless!

My sincere condolences to the Orr Family. From working the line in the early and mid 70's at Spartanburg and Shelby, to flight reviews for 40 plus years, I have always enjoyed being associated with Bill, Lee, "The Red Barron" and Billing. I share in your loss and grief.

You will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved you. The world of aviation lost an iconic aviator, but I know you are up there in the heavens soaring with the angels now. May God rest your soul, but not your spirit. Love you Mrs. Orr.