Esther (Smith) Orr
Esther Margaret (Smith) Orr, 88, formerly of Omaha, died Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Heritage of Bel-Air in Norfolk.
A memorial service will be held in the chapel at Roeder Mortuary, 2727 N 108th Street in Omaha on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 10:30 a.m. with visitation preceding the service. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Omaha.
Esther Margaret (Smith) Orr was born June 10, 1929 in Omaha. She was baptized in 1929 at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church near Hoskins. She lived in several Nebraska and Iowa towns during her childhood. She and Clinton Orr were married at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Omaha in 1947 and shared their love for 66 years. Five children were born from this union. Esther taught Sunday School, played guitar for services and programs, was active in and awarded an honorary life membership to Presbyterian Women. She served with her husband as Skippers of the church Mariners group, and both guided their five children by their example on how to live their Christian faith.
Esther demonstrated her love for God, her husband, family and community. She was a dedicated home-maker, valued education and was involved in her husband's and children’s interests. She was a past commander of the Wives of Submarine Veterans of WWII, volunteered as a Camp Fire Girls leader for many years, diligently sewed Cub Scout and Girl Scout badges on uniforms, and was a creative seamstress. In 1998 she was awarded the Admiral of the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska certificate by Governor Ben Nelson for her patriotism. Esther’s talents included china painting, embroidery, knitting, crocheting and quilting. She also enjoyed her flower gardens. After the children were grown, she enjoyed two trips to England with her husband to visit friends.
Esther loved music, especially playing the Hawaiian and Spanish guitars. Her first recital was at the age of eight at the Honolulu Conservatory of Music in Omaha where she later taught and became co-manager. At age 16, with support from her mother, she opened the Aloha Isle Guitar Studio where she taught guitar, enjoyed performing with her students, and judging competitions in the region. She graduated from Omaha Technical High School in 1946, and studied business at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. After the youngest child started school, Esther was employed as a cafeteria worker for the Omaha Public Schools, retiring in 1994. During retirement, she volunteered at the neighborhood Salvation Army store, continued serving the community through church projects, enjoyed her flower gardens and spending time with grandchildren.
Survivors include her four children, Lynne (Teri) Orr of Uehling, Sue (Donald) Buryanek of Wayne, John (Kerri) Orr of Denton, Texas, Tom Orr of Omaha, and son-in-law John Conoan; one aunt, Margie Meyer; sisters-in-law, Beverly Smith and Jennie Jacobs; 27 grandchildren, 25 great grand-children; nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton J.H. Orr; daughter, Karen (Orr) Conoan; parents, Edward C. and Leta J. Smith; sisters, Edna Postlewait and Evelyn Smith; brother, Edward D. (Eddie) Smith; brother-in-law Jack Postlewait; mother-in-law Ruth A. Orr; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ann and Wilford C. Orr, brother-in-law W.L (Pat) Jacobs.