Dec. 24, 1942 - July 9, 2012
Olga Jean (Marinelli) Orr, 69, of 3001 Fourth Ave., Altoona, died Monday.
She was born in Altoona, daughter of Antoinette (Castellano) Marinelli and the late William Marinelli. She married John Hunter Orr on Aug. 21, 1961, in Cape May Court House, N.J.
Surviving are her mother, her husband of 51 years; a daughter, Tanya Orr Bird and husband, Eliot, of Richmond, Va.; two sons: John Hunter Orr and wife, Wendy, of Flemington, N.J., and William James Orr of Richmond, Va.; six grandchildren: Alex, Grady and Hunter Orr in New Jersey and Annie and Will Bird and Lily Orr in Virginia; a sister, Susan Webster and husband, Ted, of New Bern, N.C.; two nieces: Kelly (Webster) Soltroff of Chambersburg and Natalie (Webster) Schweninger of Pittsburgh; and best friend, Gail Flegal of Ardmore.
She is also survived by close cousins: Anna (DiCamillo) Harris, Denny, Art and Kathy Dauria, Alfred, Jack and Michael Corrado and Kate DiCamillo.
Olga was a 1960 graduate of Altoona High School and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Penn State University. For 35 years, she was an elementary fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, 19 years at Wright Elementary School and 16 years at Logan Elementary School in Altoona. She was a creative master teacher, known for and proud of her no-nonsense nuts-and-bolts approach to her craft. She was a member of the Altoona Area Education Association, Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association and PSEA-Retired.
Olga was a member of Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona, Friends of the Altoona Symphony, New Jersey Audubon Society, WPSU-TV, WPSU-FM and Planned Parenthood. She was also a life member of the Altoona Area High School Alumni Association and Friends of the Altoona Library. She served on the board of the Altoona Shade Tree Commission and the Blair County Parks and Recreation Commission Advisory Board. She had a keen interest in botany and was a Penn State Master Gardener and a member of the Penn State Arboretum.
A Francophile, Olga and her husband lived for more than two years in Paris, where their daughter, Tanya, was born. Olga loved the French language and culture. Besides France, her favorite locales were Italy's Noli and the Cinque Terre, Block Island, coastal Maine and New York City. She loved best of all Cape May, N.J., her "second home." She was a talented cook whose forte lay in pie baking. For a time, she was a professional pie maker.
Olga was a collector and connoisseur of art, especially partial to the works of Joe Servello, Scott Steberger and Helen Gorsuch. A member of the Penn State Wrestling Club, she was a lifelong fan of the sport at Altoona High, Princeton and her college alma mater. She was the mother of two wrestlers and a cheerleader. A passionate reader all her life, she loved her public library. Books to her were like beautiful flowers for their blossoming of ideas in budding minds.
Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 13, 2012, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona, where a memorial service for Olga will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 14, 2012.
Those who wish to honor her memory are asked by her family to support their local library with donations (for the benefit of the Altoona Area Public Library) to the "Olga M. Orr Memorial Library Fund," c/o Jodi Cessna, Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, 1330 11th Ave., Altoona, PA 16601.