The Edmond Sun

February 19, 2014

Col. Kenneth B. Orr, Ret.


EDMOND —     Kenneth Beecher Orr, 84, was born in Kingfisher, Okla., on August 22, 1929, to Hugh M. and Lois D. Orr. He died peacefully in Edmond on February 17, 2014, following an extended illness.

    He graduated from Kingfisher High School in 1947, where he lettered in football and basketball. He attended the University of Oklahoma, was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business. While at OU, he met the love of his life, Janice K. Kerr, of Hooker, Okla. They were married on June 6, 1953. In August 1953 he began his active duty career in the US Air Force.  His 27 years in the service included a tour of duty in Vietnam and various significant assignments. During his military career, he earned his MBA from George Washington University. He was the recipient of numerous honors and awards including Bronze Star Medal and Legion of Merit.

    Ken and Janice raised their three children in Texas, California, Kansas, Alabama, Virginia and Hawaii.  Colonel Orr retired from military service in 1983 and began a second career in the Aerospace division of General Electric, retiring again a few years later. Ken was a 32nd Degree Mason and devoted member of India Shrine.  His passions were golf, hunting, gardening and spending time with family and friends.  Ken was involved in many leadership roles including the election board, president of Twin Hills Country Club and his HOA.  Also known as “Pops” to the many who loved him, he was a man of honor and integrity in every aspect of his life. He was a devoted husband and father who brought to anything in which he participated the same commitment and integrity. 

    He was preceded in death by his parents; his younger brother Lloyd Orr; his granddaughter Stephanie Rose Wilhelmi, and his niece, Brenda Orr Mergen.

    Kenneth is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janice K. Orr; daughter Melissa Hoffman and husband Kurt of Monrovia, Calif.; son John Orr of Tucson, Ariz.; daughter Kendall Wilhelmi of Amissville, Va.;  brother and sister-in-law Don and Polly Orr of Fayetteville, N.C.; sister-in-law Melota Orr of Yukon, Okla.; grandchildren Taryn, Timothy and Mitchell Hoffman, Kelsey and Keilea Orr, and Marshall Wilhelmi, and many other relatives and friends.

    Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, February 22, at Baggerley Funeral Home, 930 S. Broadway, Edmond. Interment with military honors will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.  A luncheon with the family will immediately follow at Baggerley Funeral Home. Kenneth was a proud American veteran. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans or Wounded Warrior Project.