Wakefield '60 Classmates: In Memoriam

Anne Sparks Orr
b: 9/1942      d: 12/29/2014

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Anne Sparks picture ANNE SPARKS, French Honor Society 3, 4; Lambda Tri-Hi-Y 3; Omega Tri-Hi-Y 4; GAA 2, 3, 4.

Hi Friends of Anne,

I wanted to let you all know that my dear mom, Anne Orr, passed away Monday morning after a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer in early November.  She was remarkably Stoic about her illness; she said that she was ready to go and had fulfilled her life’s missions.  Her cup of joy was full, and her responsibilities were complete.

In November just before Thanksgiving, Mom came out to California to live in an assisted living facility blocks from me and my husband Andrew (after a truly comical stay living in close quarters with her daughter again in a hotel waiting for her place to be ready).  She entered hospice care right away.   I went to see her every day, and her caregivers were great. It was difficult to see this quick witted and outspoken woman with such considerable powers reduced in that way that cancer operates.  I was grateful that end came mercifully quickly.

I know that you all know my mom.  She loved books (especially mysteries), history (her major at MWC when we graduated together in 1991), cats, writing, painting, the ocean, seashells, the color blue, and the Obamas (seriously, they have been a particular passion since 2003).

Mom, a liberal Democrat to the her core, has wonderful stories of her working life in Washington, D. C. like working for the great Senator Paul Douglas, having lunch with Walter Ruther (while I was in utero), and walking into an elevator at HUD (where she worked at the time) and running face first into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s security detail, realizing who she was trying to get on the elevator with, she backed away out of respect.  Then, she was invited back onto the elevator by Dr. King himself.   She was elated.  I think that she really missed working in political circles after 1980, when Reagan entered office and even liberal clerical workers were out of fashion.

Anne will be cremated with no service, according to her wishes.  I will leave her Facebook page up for a while if people would like to post remembrances to share with her friends.  If anyone would like to make a contribution to an organization in her memory, may I suggest the Organizing for America, National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, or if none of those are your cup of tea, then the American Cancer Society.

Thank you all for being her friends,
Jennifer Eagan (her daughter)

This page's content was last modified January 3, 2015
2010-2015 Wakefield Class of 1960 and
Wakefield H.S. Education Foundation (information@wakefieldalumni.org)