Mary Ann Orr

Mary Ann Orr, age 75 of Rock Rapids, IA, formerly of Laurens, IA passed away Monday, June 25, 2012 at Rock Rapids Health Centre in Rock Rapids, IA.

Funeral service will be 11:00 AM, Monday, July 2nd at United Methodist Church in Rock Rapids, IA, with Rev. Dean Shelly officiating.

Burial is planned for 2:00 PM, Monday afternoon at East Side Cemetery in Estherville, IA.

Visitation will be Monday morning, from 9:00 AM until the hour of service at the United Methodist Church in Rock Rapids.

Jurrens Funeral Home of Rock Rapids is in charge of arrangements.

Mary Ann blessed the world with her birth on April 15, 1937 in Estherville, Iowa, as the daughter of George Curtis and Kathryn Marie (Van Der Stoep) Vedder. She attended the Estherville Community Schools and graduated from high school in 1955. Her dream was to be a teacher so she continued her education at Estherville Junior College earning her teaching certificate. She began teaching in Mallard, IA, until August 2, 1959, when she was united in marriage to Kenneth L. Jacobson at the United Methodist Church in Estherville. Two daughters were born to that union, Marilee Kay and Ann Marie. The family lived in various places, such as Graettinger, IA, Emmetsburg, IA and Urbandale, IA. Mary Ann continued teaching in the communities of Emmetsburg and Adel with her specialty being lower elementary and remedial reading. November 1969 the family was involved in a car accident which resulted in Kenneth’s death on November 29, 1969. Mary Ann married Robert M. Orr on March 31, 1972. They made their home in Laurens, IA, where she substitute taught and owned and operated the “Bargain Basement”. She also managed the Laurens Retirement housing Corporation for a couple years.

Mary Ann put her heart into every community she called home. She touched many lives through her dedication and volunteerism. As a member of Laurens United Methodist Church, she taught Sunday school, was a youth group leader and a United Methodist Women’s officer. She served as president of the library board, was a member of the foundation board, head start board and an organizer of the pre-school in Laurens. She was a strong advocate and teacher for the GED program with Iowa Central Community College in Ft. Dodge, IA, where she once had a scholarship in her name. Being around children gave her joy and she delighted in portraying Mrs. Santa Claus at the holidays, and acting with the Downtown Drama Theatre Company. She volunteered with the Girl Scouts and enjoyed following her grandchildren’s events. She looked forward to traveling with Bob, playing cards, and spending time with relatives and friends. Celebrating the holidays and milestones of family was her specialty. Mary Ann was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She loved her family more than anything and was truly proud of her Dutch heritage.

Mary Ann is survived by her husband of 40 years, Robert M. Orr of Rock Rapids, IA; two daughters, Marilee (Dave) Schleusner of Rock Rapids, IA and Ann (Ryan) Westphal of Cheshire, CT; two granddaughters, Natalie Schleusner of Mankato, MN and Kendra Schleusner of Rock Rapids, IA; one brother Verlyn (Dorothy) Vedder of Estherville, IA; two sisters-in-law, Lois (Ralph) Torreson of Estherville, IA and Marjorie (Roger) Steward of Clear Lake, IA; two brothers-in-law, Lauren Orr of Emmetsburg, IA and Dale Orr of St. Louis, MO; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by parents; her grandson, Alexander Westphal; two sisters, Mildred Huntsinger and Kathleen Higgins; and two brothers, George Jr. Vedder and Frank Vedder.


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