LOGAN, W.Va. — Beatrice “Bea” N. Orr, 82, of Logan, passed away peacefully in her home Sunday, April 7, 2013, following an extended illness.
Born August 26, 1930, in Huntington, she was a daughter of the late Robert Lee and Mary Elizabeth Staley Nelson. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Thomas "Tom" Benson Orr Sr.; three brothers, Eugene Nelson, Howard Lee Nelson and Glen F. Nelson, and one sister, Brenda Hanshaw.
Bea’s continued years of service to Logan County Schools, Marshall University and the entire education system in West Virginia has been well-known over the past 60 years. In July 2010, Bea retired from Logan County Board of Education following her position as Director of Student Services and Resources. She has been involved with health, physical education, particularly for young women, since joining the schools system in 1967 as the county’s director of K-12 physical education. Throughout her career she taught physical education at Marshall University, Logan County Schools, W.Va. Crippled Children’s Camps and Southern West Virginia Community College. Not only was Bea a long time educator, but a strong proponent of all girls’ sports programs. She was a true pioneer in her own right as she began girls’ softball in Logan County following her influential dedication and support for the passage of Title IX in 1972. Title IX was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling which established female athletics in schools stating that discrimination against females was no longer allowed.
Bea, who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marshall, was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Education from the University of Maine. Between 1972 and 1985 she played very active roles in the professional organizations that she so believed in. She is a life member and former president of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and also is a life member and former president of the Midwest District Association and West Virginia Association for Health, Physical education, Recreation and Dance.
Bea was an outstanding leader and public servant, who positively impacted the lives of so many young professionals. She was always there supporting quality health and physical education within American schools systems, especially, within Logan County. Bea’s legacy is one of caring for all individuals and for promoting healthy active lifestyles.
Survivors include her three children: Terri O. Hill, of Bradenton, Fla., Sherri L. Orr of Palmer, Ark., and Tom Jr. (wife Kimberly) Orr of Culloden; two brothers; Bill (wife Jeannie) Nelson of Tennessee and Ralph Nelson of Ohio; sister, Gwen, and her son, Shawn Lambiotte of Huntington, and niece Lisa (husband Larry) Prater of Huntington.
A celebration of Bea’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, at the First Presbyterian Church, 622 Stratton Street, Logan. Burial will be held at 3 p.m. at Woodmere Memorial Park, 2701 Washington Blvd, Huntington.
A public visitation will be held from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at Honaker Funeral Home.
Bea was also an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Logan.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to any of the following: Marshall University, Big Green Foundation, WVHPERD/West Virginia Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, AAHPERD/American Alliance for Health, Physical education, Recreation and Dance, American Heart Association or First Presbyterian Church of Logan.
Condolences may be left at www.honakerfuneralhome.org.
Honaker Funeral Home of Logan is in charge of arrangements.