Amherst Magazine
John G. Orr '54

Jack Orr died Nov. 15 in Banner Elk, N.C., of cancer. Shortly after Labor Day, he had difficulty getting out of bed one morning. He went to his doctor and subsequently was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which had metastasized throughout his body. Immediately after, Pat and I went to see him in early October, he had to move to a nursing home. He approached death bravely, wanting only to be able to die with dignity. Jack was buried with military honors on Nov. 25 at Niagara Falls Memorial Park Cemetery next to his second wife, Carol.

I first met Jack when we both pledged Phi Delta Theta in 1951. After Amherst, we spent considerable time together, even though we lived 100 miles apart. We attended Buffalo Bills games, went to Toronto, spent time at our cottage, celebrated birthdays, weddings, New Year’s Eves and other events. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Alaska, Jack went to work for Marine Midland Bank in Niagara Falls. In 1970, he became president and CEO of Niagara County Savings Bank, a position he held until the bank merged with another in 1986. After Carol’s death in 1997, Jack was devastated until he met again his sister Marla’s friend Anne Larsen in 2000 and came to life again. Jack moved to Banner Elk with Anne, and she cared for and nurtured him in his final weeks.

When I informed Curly Price of Jack’s death, he wrote: “Jack had a great voice and taught us all a song with this refrain: ‘Oh the Erie (sung ear-i-ee) was rising and the gin was getting low and I scarcely think we’ll get a drink till we get to Buffalo.’”

Jack is survived by Anne, a sister, two brothers, a son Jeff (Lee), a daughter Jennifer Coseglia and four grandchildren.

—Bill Wilcox ’54

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