||NEAL ORR, Picture from Junior
year, no picture or entries in the 1960 Starstone.
|Anne Sparks Orr (Wakefield Class of 1960) wrote:
Thank you and the committee for your
condolences. Below are some of my thoughts about Neal for the memorial book.
Neal Orr was a very interesting guy who lived a rich full life, in spite of never
making his hoped-for million dollars. Who else do any of us know who, among other
things, once filed a gold claim in Alaska, roughnecked in the oilfields of North Dakota,
drove a taxi in New York City, produced summer stock on Cape Cod, pioneered in cable
television programming, and operated a tugboat and barge business in New York Harbor?
Neal and I became friends in 1957 when we shared the same homeroom and geometry
class. He was noticeable because of his redheaded temper, keen wit, and propensity
for fun. Somewhere in the haze of adolescent mayhem that is high school, I
recognized that he was also incredibly intelligent, kind, and generous. Years later,
when he became my love, I found that these qualities had endured. To some extent we
can define people by what and whom they value. Neal loved food, drink, smoke, an
interesting book, a good joke, his buddies, me, and the family he acquired when we married
- particularly the people we referred to as "the kids," who range in age from
single digits to the 40s. All the outstanding young doctors at Johns Hopkins who
diagnosed Neal's fatal heart disease gave the same graceful response whenever we thanked
them for their expertise and tender care. When Neal came home under the supervision
of hospice, we talked of our good times together, and he thanked me for being his
wife. Courtesy of Johns Hopkins, I knew to reply with the words, "it was a