January 8, 1924-December 19, 2022
Nora Evelyn Jean Dennis (Orr) was born to Ben and Norah Dennis on January 8, 1924 near the village of Brookdale, Manitoba.
Her siblings were George (Royal Canadian Air Force, deceased- who married Ethyl), Edward (farmer, deceased – who married Joyce), and little sister Beryl Henders. Jean attended elementary and secondary school in Brookdale and participated in concerts, choirs, and other aspects of community life there.
As a young lady Jean taught at Huntington School, before marrying Carberry farmer William Maxwell Orr. Their children include Cheryl Orr Hood (business person and artist, deceased – who married Bruce (deceased), Gerald Orr (who married Linda), Brenda Nelson (who married Greg), and Ben Orr (who married Kim).
Jean was always active in life on the Orr farm, raising chickens, gardening, milking cows, and driving trucks and tractors. At the same time, she was raising her family, cooking and cleaning, sewing and renovating the house, building rock gardens and taking on other projects that made the house their home. Amidst all this activity, she warmly welcomed visits from friends and family (especially grandchildren!).
Music was always important to Mum, who after having taken only a year of music lessons, became sufficiently skilled at playing piano that she organized a small singing group called the Orr Kids. This group sang at Robbie Burns concerts, fundraiser talent shows and Linwood school concerts.
Mum’s creativity was also evident in her artwork. She studied art at the Banff School, and at classes in Brandon Art Gallery and Neepawa. Later she had exhibitions on her own and taught painting in community classes. Her sense of colour and style led her into sewing and designing clothing for members of her family.
Our mom always valued education and community, serving as secretary treasurer and trustee for the local school board, and librarian for the local library as well as the high school. She was a member of the Orange Lodge, IODE, the Red Hats, and she at times served as organist for the Presbyterian and United Churches.
Jean had a love of travel. Sundays were often spent with Max and kids exploring pastures and bushlands. They travelled to Calgary for the Stampede as well as to visit family (brother Barry and Julie). Victoria was another destination to visit Marian and Sandy. Jean also adventured to Australia, Alaska, Ireland, Mexico, Hawaii, Arizona, and various other places in the US and Canada with family members.
Mum would also travel to be with her grandchildren. She flew to Barrie, Ontario and also to Australia to be sure that her little ones were safely cared for… providing a grandmothers special help.
For her grandchildren she would provide such things as Easter egg hunts at the pasture. She had great pride in all their accomplishments and activities.
Cheryl Orr Hood (Lisa Pedlow and Kevin Hood and families), Gerald Orr (Sonja, Maxine, Jason and Nichole), Brenda (Steve and Tara), Ben (Bill, George and Mary Jane). She was lucky enough to have many great grandchildren and a number of beloved great grandpets.
A celebration of Jean’s life will be held Monday March 20 at 2:00 pm at the Carberry United Church.
In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to one of the below:
The Seton Centre (http://www.thesetoncentre.ca/ )
ALS Society of Manitoba (https://alsmb.ca/ )
(ALS) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of Manitoba
2a-1717 Dublin, Winnipeg MB R3H 0H2
Carberry United Church
608 3rd Avenue, Carberry MB R0KoH0
The Seton Centre
116 Main Street, Carberry MB R0K oHo, Carberry MB R0K 0H0