Elizabeth Jane Orr passed away peacefully on July 24, 2021 at home with family and pets by her side. Jane, as she was known, was born in Champaign, Illinois to Thomas Pankey and Elizabeth Sharp. At two years old, Jane lost her mother to complications of childbirth as her mother was giving birth to Jane’s brother. After a few years, her father married Eliza Foster who’s love for reading and life helped shape Jane into the incredible woman she became. Jane grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin where she attended Elgin Academy in Illinois and then the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a degree in English Literature. After graduating from college, she moved to Boston where she attended the Katherine Gibbs School, an institution for the career education of young women. Jane began work as a secretary at Arthur D. Little, Inc. in Maynard, MA where she met her future husband of 57 years, James Hunter Orr, Jr. Jane was a truly devoted mother to her two children, Alexander and Christine, Grandmother to James and William and was involved in each and every aspect of their interests and athletics over the years.
Jane was skilled at embroidery and did repair work on ecclesiastical embroidery, as well as beautiful works of art in her home, including recreating artwork from her two children in embroidery. She had the proverbial green thumb, especially with orchids that continually graced her home. Jane was a true lover of science and history, and with her husband, enjoyed being involved in the advancement of science and nature institutions. She also shared her dedication to the secondary schools her children attended, and served as a Trustee of St. Sebastian’s School for 18 years, was a member of the Guild of St. Irene, and co-founded the Book Club.
Jane leaves her children Alexander of Wrentham, a daughter Christine and grandchildren James and William of Hingham. Services will be announced later this year, and gifts in her memory may be made to, The National Audubon Society, Veterans for Foreign War or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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