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Raymond Orr, 92, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Wolrd War II Vet, Lived In Westport

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WESTPORT, Conn. -- A memorial service is scheduled on Saturday for Raymond Orr, a longtime resident of Westport, who died in January at the age of 92.

Orr was born on July 15, 1922, in Darby, Pa. to Andrew Best Orr and Bridget Stanley Orr. A varsity letterman in high school basketball and golf, he joined the Navy on graduation and was stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

After seeing action in the Southwest Pacific Theater, he attended Princeton University under the wartime V-12 officer training program, followed by Dennison University and the University of New Mexico where he met his wife, Billie (Wilma Bowles).

At UNM, he was elected president of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He was commissioned as an ensign in 1946, and for the next 19 years he and Billie and their growing family traveled the country: Puget Sound, Hawaii, Southern California, Virginia, Guam, Monterey (where he earned his master’s degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School), Las Vegas and Washington, DC.

After retiring from the Navy in 1965, he moved to Westport to finish his working years at Perkin Elmer. Orr was an accomplished storyteller and was happy to share his Pearl Harbor experience with anyone who asked, including regular presentations to students at Bedford Junior High School.

He was also an active member of his community, including serving as president of the Western Connecticut Retired Officers Association, the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston, and the Southern Connecticut Purchasing Association. He also proudly served as the 1996 Memorial Day Parade grand marshal.

He is survived by five children Kathleen Upchurch (Lanny) of Alexandria, Va.; Raymond A. Orr of Westport, Deborah Mellor (Mark) of Boothbay Harbor, Maine; Patricia Orr (Meg O’Donnell) of Shelburne, Vt.; and James Orr (Margaret Wismer) of Lewisburg, Pa.; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and his companion of more than 16 years, Kathleen Wardrip.

Ray was predeceased by his wife of 51 years and his brother Robert Orr of Riverside, Calif.

The memorial service for Orr is scheduled for Saturday, at 2 p.m., at  Westport Women’s Club, 44 Imperial Ave., Westport.

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