Dr. William Wood Orr, age 97, died on January 2, 2021. Dr. Orr was born April 2, 1923, in Macon, Georgia, the son of the late Birdie Wood Orr and Samuel Leonard Orr. He attended Joseph Clisby school, Lanier High School for Boys, and Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., receiving a B.A. degree in Chemistry. He graduated from Emory University School of Medicine in l947 with an M.D. degree. He completed his internship at the Macon Hospital, followed by training in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital, Washington, D.C., where he was Chief Resident. Dr. Orr returned to Macon in December l950 to practice Pediatrics. He was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and was a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. After 50 years of practice, he retired in March 2001. Dr. Orr’s hospital staff appointments included the Macon Hospital, the Medical Center of Central Georgia, the Middle Georgia Hospital, Northside Hospital, and Coliseum Hospital. Dr. Orr was past president of the Medical Staff at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, Chief of Pediatrics and member of the Executive Committee, and a past vice president of the Middle Georgia Hospital Medical Staff. He was a professor of Pediatrics at the Macon Hospital School of Nursing, and a clinical associate professor of Mercer University School of Medicine. Dr. Orr was appointed to the Macon Bibb County Hospital Authority in December 1982 and served continuously until October 2009, a total of twenty-seven years. He was Chairman of the Authority for many years. He served as a board member of Central Georgia Health System, and chairman of Ventures Board from 1995 until 2007.
During World War II, Dr. Orr served in the Army in the Army Specialized Training Program. He became a member of the Georgia Army National Guard in 1948 and served as Captain of the Medical Company of the 121st Infantry Regiment, Commander of the Medical Detachment of the 48th Inf. Division Headquarters, Brigade Surgeon of the 2nd Bgd. 48th Armored Division, and Commander of the 348th Medical Battalion of the 48th Armored Division. He was promoted to Colonel on 1 Sept. 1967. On 21 Feb. 1972 he was appointed State Surgeon for the Georgia Army National Guard, a position he held for 12 years. He retired as a Brigadier General in 1984. He continued to serve as Commander of the Medical Unit in the Volunteer Georgia State Defense Force for another 10 years, totaling 48 years of military service.
Dr. Orr was a member of the Vineville United Methodist Church since the age of 10 years and served on the Board of Stewards. He loved opera and studied voice at Wesleyan College in Macon. He sang in the Chancel Choir from its original formation until he turned 95. He was Troop Committee Chairman for 10 years for Boy Scout Troop 19, sponsored by the United Methodist Church. Dr. Orr was a member of SAE fraternity and Chi Phi Medical Fraternity, the Macon Kiwanis club, Idle Hour Golf and Country Club, and the Macon Civic Club, having sung in a number of the annual Civic Club shows.
Dr. Orr was predeceased by his beloved wife of 70 years, Gloria Thornton Orr of Macon; an infant son; Dr. Orr’s brothers, Samuel L. Orr, Jr. of Macon, Ga., and Harry F. Orr of Tampa, Fl.; and his sisters, Mrs. Martha Hutcherson of Winder, Ga. and Mrs. Branch Ellis Duncan of Alexandria, Va. Survivors include his five children, their spouses, eleven grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren. Sons are William W. Orr, Jr. and wife Vicki of Athens, Ga. and their children Sarah (Kyle), Billy (Andrea) and John; David T. Orr and wife Trish of Cartersville, Ga. and their children Amanda Cook (Josh) and Chris Gilstrap; T. Edward Orr and his wife Viviana of Martinez, Ga. and his children Adrienne, Julia and Thomas; James A. Orr and his wife Elizabeth of Madison, Ga. and their sons Allen (Mary Ann), Albert, and Clark; daughter Gloria Faye Orr of Pittsboro, N.C.; and several nieces and nephews.
Due to Covid-19, a memorial service and visitation will not be held at this time. A private graveside service will be held at Riverside Cemetery for the immediate family. A memorial service will be held at a later date and will be announced.
For those who wish, and in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Vineville United Methodist Church, 2045 Vineville Ave. Macon, Ga., 31204, The Children’s Hospital of the Medical Center of Central Ga., 777 Hemlock St. Macon, Ga., 31201 or the charity of their choice. The family may be contacted directly through sons Billy Orr, 706-540-1475 or Edward Orr, 706-373-6327.
Please visit www.hartsmort.com to express condolences.
Hart’s Mortuary and Cremation Center, 765 Cherry Street, Macon, GA 31201, has charges of arrangements.
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Vineville United Methodist Church
2045 Vineville Ave., Macon GA 31204
Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital
777 Hemlock St, Box 78, Macon GA 31201
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