Rose Mary Hunt Orr

Rose Mary (Hunt) Orr, age 98 years, a resident of Vienna, Illinois, passed away Tuesday morning, May 5, 2020, at 1 AM at Parkway Manor in Marion, Illinois.

Rose Mary was born January 10, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was the daughter of Chester R. and Eva Lena (Veach) Hunt.

Rose Mary was first united in marriage to James Edwin Crain. He preceded her in death on October 11, 1949. Rose Mary was later united in marriage to Harold Eugene Orr on January 15, 1955 at the Vienna First United Methodist Church. He preceded her in death on March 29, 2018.

Rose Mary is survived by: her children – Michael Crain & Larry Crain both of Vienna, and Patricia (Steve) Crain Stroud of Raleigh, North Carolina; stepsons – John E. (Carole) Orr of Star, Idaho and Robert L. (Mary) Orr of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; 8 grandchildren – John G. Orr, Robin Roseberry Anders, Granger Roseberry, Michaeline A. Schuetz, Katrina Orr, Chadd Harbaugh, Travis Crain and Blake Crain; and several great grandchildren.

Rose Mary was preceded in death by her parents – Chester R. Hunt, Eva Lena (Veach) Hunt-White; her brother – Bill Hunt; and a sister – Janet Hunt, who died in childhood.

Rose Mary was a 1939 graduate of Vienna High School. She attended Brenau College for Women in Gainesville, Georgia (now Brenau University) and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. For over 30 years, she was the manager, and later the owner, of the regionally renowned Bob White Café at West Vienna. After retiring from the restaurant business, Rose Mary began a new career as a professional courthouse genealogical researcher, specializing in five Southern Illinois counties. Rose Mary also served as a volunteer researcher for prospective DAR members.

Rose Mary was admitted to membership in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in 1983 as a member of the Daniel Chapman Chapter. Having ingrained in her family a love for history, Rose Mary’s leadership brought four generations of her family to membership in the Daniel Chapman Chapter. One of the DAR projects of which she was most proud culminated in her placing the 1995 commemorative bronze plaque for the “Liberty Bell of the West” on Kaskaskia Island. Cast in La Rochelle, France, and older than the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell of the West was originally gifted by King Louis XV of France to the Catholic Church of the Illinois Country of 1741. The bell was rung in celebration when George Rogers Clark and his Kentucky Long Knives captured Kaskaskia from the British on July 4, 1778 during the American Revolution, and the bell remains on the island to this day.

Rose Mary served in many capacities during her Illinois Daughters tenure, including State Chaplain, State Librarian, Division VII Director, DAR School Chairman, and Director of the 1990 Illinois Centennial School Bus Tour. She was also Lineage Research Chairman, a member of the Friends of the Library, DAR Days Marshal, and Illinois State Genealogical Library Chairman. Rose Mary served as President and Treasurer of the Illinois State Officers Club, Chaplain and Board Director of the State Chairman’s Club and was a Charter member of the Illinois Cameo Club. Rose Mary further served as DAR State Regent from 1995-1997 and was elected Honorary State Regent of Illinois in 1997. In Washington D.C. in 1999, Rose Mary was presented as candidate for Vice President General at the 108th Continental Congress with her daughter, Patricia Crain Stroud, in attendance and her granddaughter, Robin Roseberry Anders, serving as Personal Page. During her time serving the National Society, Rose Mary visited every state DAR chapter in the country, often piloted by husband, Harold Orr, and they enjoyed their travels immensely.

Rose Mary was a member of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Illinois State Historical Society, the John Gaither Descendants, Kelsey Kindred, Veitch, Veatch, Veech, Veach Historical Society (Regional coordinator), Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois (Genealogist and 1st Vice President), Johnson County Genealogical & Historical Society (organizing Board Member and 1st Vice President) and Co-Publisher of the Johnson County Federal Census records 1850-1860-1870.

Additionally, Rose Mary was a member of patriotic organizations, including: Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, Daughters of the American Colonists, State Insignia Chairman, National Society of the United States Daughters of 1812, Founders of Hartford Connecticut, Colonial Daughters of the Seventeenth Century (State Corresponding Secretary), the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (James the Sheriff lineage) and a recipient of the S.A.R. Medal of Appreciation.

Locally, Rose Mary was a member of the First United Methodist Church and served as historian for the Church’s 140th celebration. She copied and co-published the early church records. Additionally, Rose Mary had served as the Church membership chairman. In her community, Rose Mary served on the Johnson County Welfare Services Board, the Vienna City Zoning Board, the Vienna Carnegie Library, Secretary of the Board of Trustees and representative to the Shawnee Regional Library Board. Through her efforts, the Vienna Library is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Rose Mary was a 73-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She joined in January 1947 in Springfield, Illinois and affiliated with Egyptian Chapter # 30 O.E.S. at Vienna in 1957. She was also the organizing scribe and a Past Worthy High Priestess of the former Valley White Shrine of Jerusalem in Vienna.

A memorial service honoring the life of Rose Mary (Hunt) Orr will be held at a later date.

Inurnment will be beside her husband, Harold Orr, on the Hunt family lot at the Vienna Fraternal Cemetery.

Donations in memory of Rose Mary made be made to the NSDAR Illinois State Regent’s Project “Serving All Illinois Veterans” and may be sent c/o Christy McDougal, NSDAR Illinois State Treasurer, 8633 State Route 143, Edwardsville, IL 62025-6805.

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