Home Records Obituaries Carol JoAnn Jones Orr

Carol JoAnn Jones Orr

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Our beloved grandmother was welcomed into the arms of Jesus in the late evening hours of January 27, after a long and courageous battle with ovarian cancer. The story goes that on August 20, 1935, “up on the hill” in Woodston, Kansas, Carol JoAnn Jones was born to a young John E. and Oleta Clark Jones. As an adult, Carol would share fond memories of her childhood in Kansas. Tales of herding cattle with her father, cuddling newborn barn cats with her younger sister Pat, tending chickens with her mother, and preparing meals for the harvest crews alongside her cherished grandmother, Edna. Western Kansas brought many blessings to Grandma, most notably her “prince charming”, Gerald Orr. Their union in 1957 would mark the beginning of a lifetime of shared adventures, countless memories, and a growing family to continue their legacy.

Gerald’s job as a surveyor for the BLM would carry Carol from the comforts of the Kansas plains to the rainy mountains of Burns, Oregon, to the frigid temperatures of Craig, Colorado, and eventually to the hot and dry desert of Roswell, New Mexico, where they would spend over 50 years and raise their three children. Grandma, who made friends wherever she went, filled her days with Bridge Club, her Sunday school class from the Methodist Church, quilting groups, the Chaves County Assistance League, among many other community boards and activities. One of Grandma’s most beloved summer pastimes was swimming the day away at Linda Vista Pool, where we would all feast on party sandwiches, diet cokes, sun rays, and our Grandmother’s laughter. Grandma, who was frequently found with a large tropical flower clipped into her hair, would smile and say, “If I close my eyes, I just think I might be in Hawaii!”

Up until her final days, Grandma kept us all company with her loving and bright disposition, amusing sense of humor, and narratives of times gone by. Her life was greatly enriched by the friends she made and she frequently spoke of these relationships and their impact. As we think back on all the cherished memories with our Grandmother, we know our present days will be undoubtedly a bit more hollow and lonely and our fridges and pantries without frozen pecans, homemade apple pies, and jars of raspberry jam; but our hearts are full. The pain we feel is a reminder that this earth is not our forever home.

Carol is survived by her husband of 63 years, Gerald Orr and their three children: John (Sara) Orr of Dallas, TX, Kristin Orr Santorelli of Barnegat, NJ, and Jenny Orr (Lars) Stangebye of Montrose, CO. Grandma once said she knew she had to be a mother, because in her heart she had to be a grandmother, and oh what a grandmother she was! Both she and Gerald were blessed with nine grandchildren: Sarah (Tim Hibler), Hannah (Richard Stevenson), Sandra, Noah, and Micah Stangebye, Grayson and Reid Orr, and Maddy and Gracie Santorelli. Carol spent much of her later years traveling from the shores of New Jersey to the mountains of Colorado with a stop in the Big D to soak in the sights and sounds of the Texas State Fair. Never one to be left out of the excitement, Carol would climb into the motorhome, with Grandpa at the wheel, and drive across the country to attend school performances, holidays, dance recitals, and sporting events. She was always there to walk through any journey, experience, or hardship, with her never-failing support. As her family grew, she was there to welcome the newest additions, her two great grandchildren, Leif Hibler and Vivienne Jones Stevenson.

Her final days were spent surrounded by her family, telling stories, drinking coffee, singing her favorite hymns and old country western songs, and plenty of laughter. Grandma told us all she was excited to go to heaven and would welcome us when we got there, “organizing the whole party”. A celebration of her life will follow in the next few months. In lieu of flowers, we kindly ask that you consider making a memorial donation to Hearts of Mercy, a 501(c)3 organization founded by her daughter, Kristin. Carol, a lifetime educator, dedicated over 40 years of her life tending to the growing hearts and minds of students throughout Colorado and New Mexico. Your donation will go directly to sponsor underserved and at-risk youth. Donations can be made via the website at hearts-of-mercy.org or by mail to 16 Jennings Road, Manahawkin NJ 08050.

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We wish to thank those of you who knew and loved our grandmother and for the special role you played in her life. As Carol would say, “It’s been fun! We’ll keep in touch!”

Proverbs 31:28

“Her children arise and call her blessed”