Published by Daily Bulletin on September 24, 2021.
January 1, 1934 – September 16, 2021 On September 16, after several months of illness, Trudy Tremper Orr passed away. She was 87 years old. She was surrounded by a loving family throughout her illness and at the time of her death. Trudy was born in Columbus, Ohio on January 1, 1934, the only daughter of Tom and Gertrude Lowery. Her father was a salesman for Peter Paul Candy. Her mother was a nurse. She grew up primarily in Indianapolis, where she competed in figure skating, supervised at the Riviera Club, and graduated from Broad Ripple High School in 1951. Trudy attended Michigan State University where she met Paul Orr. The two married on February 6, 1953, both aged 19. Paul continued her undergraduate education while she worked at Bell Telephone in its yellow pages department. Later that year, they moved to Detroit, Michigan, where Mr. Orr began medical school and she was transferred to the local Bell office. While her husband was in his third year of medical school, Ms. Orr gave birth to their first child, Calvin. When Mr. Orr graduated from medical school in 1957, the family moved to Toledo, Ohio, where he began his residency. While living there, Mrs. Orr gave birth to identical twins: Carl and Mark. In 1958, after completing his residency, the new “doc” Orr entered the military under a physician project in effect at the time. There followed a series of assignments to San Antonio, Texas; Taiwan; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The longest mission was in Taiwan, where the Orrs gained an appreciation for the Far East and formed deep friendships among the military community stationed there. Due to the tensions between Taiwan and mainland China, Dr Orr initially had to travel to Taiwan on his own while Ms Orr and their boys remained in Indianapolis. After six months halfway around the world, the military finally allowed families to join the military in Taiwan, and the Orr family was reunited. In 1961, after Dr. Orr was discharged from the military, the young family moved to Southern California and settled in Claremont. While living there, Mrs. Orr gave birth to their second pair of twins, this time fraternal: Phillip and Donald. This was at a time when assisted reproduction did not exist, and it was unusual for a woman to have a multiple pregnancy, let alone two. She always knew before her doctors that she was carrying twins, a fact that she repeated several times in her life. There is medical science, and then there is a mother’s intuition. At the ripe age of 28, Ms. Orr already had five sons. She would sometimes say that she and Dr. Orr were the youngest couple in town with the most children. They were also leaving their home of departure in Claremont. In 1965, the family moved a few miles to Upland, where they settled in a large 1920s-style Spanish grove house surrounded by acres of lemon trees. It was there, mainly, that the couple raised their five sons. Mrs. Orr loved being a mother and was immensely proud of her sons. She supported them in all of their activities, including building forts and treehouses in the rural highlands, camping in those same forts and treehouses, raising cats, dogs, ducks. and rabbits, planting gardens, building and piloting model airplanes, building go-karts, taking art and music lessons, swimming, playing baseball and soccer, participating in sports competitions. athletics, cross-country and cycling, and much more. She has served as the unofficial team mom for many of the Upland High School track and field and cross country teams, bringing refreshments after the meet and cheering herself on, not just for her sons, but for the entire ‘team. Even the coolest teens on those teams couldn’t help but love him. Everyone knows that being a mother of five boys is not easy. But Ms. Orr kept her boys in line with the same loud voice she used to cheer on track and cross country teams (and the occasional warning: “Wait till your dad comes home”). Even more, she loved her boys to her heart and they knew it. She never wanted a different life. In addition to devoting herself to the lives of her five sons, Ms. Orr has supported her husband in his busy medical practice and other endeavors. She always delayed dinner for him because she wanted the family to have dinner together. And she insisted that everyone relax, eat slowly, and talk to each other. To reinforce her wishes, she made herself the keeper of the second portions, which she decreed that no one could have until the last person (usually her) had completed their first portion. The couple took their boys to various vacation destinations, but one quickly became their favorite: Laguna Beach. Ms. Orr loved the charming, laid-back seaside town, and she grew up loving it even more during the 50+ years of memorable family vacations she enjoyed. This guy’s last vacation was barely two months before he passed away. In 1989, with their sons long since left the nest, the Orr’s sold their large Upland house and moved into two houses: a dream house in Dana Point and a smaller row house in Upland. In 1997, they returned to the Inland Empire and settled in a lovely house in La Verne, at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, where Ms. Orr lived the rest of her years. In 2003, the Orr celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. In addition to enjoying a lavish party hosted by their sons, they took a six-week vacation around the world. Mrs. Orr loved Africa more than any other place they visited, and she and Dr. Orr returned there later. In 2013, the couple celebrated their diamond anniversary. At the time of Ms Orr’s death, they had been married for 68 years. “Trudy lived an altruistic life, always in solidarity with her husband and her sons, always proud of them, and always putting them before her”, explained her family. “She will be remembered as a dynamic woman with an infectious laugh and a smile that lit the room. She was adventurous and loved experiences ranging from camping to Kenya safari to driving a race car. Indy 500. She loved it too.morning coffee (without which she had a hard time liking anything else), fancy tea parties, delicious steak, fresh Rombauer Chardonnay and Laguna Beach. Trudy loved to dance; she and Paul met at a school ball in Michigan State and continued to grace the dance floor whenever they got the chance. Trudy was a wife, mother, grandmother and a devoted and loving great-grandmother. She will always be dearly loved and cherished. And she will be sadly missed. “Mrs. Orr is survived by her husband, five sons and five daughters-in-law, 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren -children. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 9, at the Claremont Presbyterian Church, 1111 N. Mountain Ave., Claremont, CA. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send memorial contributions to the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Foundation at https://www.pvhmc.org/giving-support/, or by check at 1798 N. Garey Ave. , Pomona, CA 91767.