Carol Jahns Orr died in Ennis, Montana on May 29, 2019.
She was born in Alhambra, California June 28, 1923. Her parents were Alfred Heinrich Jahns and Cecelia Schnackenbeck Jahns. She grew up in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Roosevelt High School and in 1944 from the University of Washington with a BA in Political Science.
Carol met her future husband Arthur (Toby) Orr from Cameron, Montana, a Navy pilot, on a blind date and they were married in Seattle on June 30, 1944. In college, Carol was active in the war effort selling war bonds. A beautiful and vivacious woman, she belonged to the Gamma Phi Sorority and was Homecoming Queen and Sweetheart of Sigma Chi while also maintaining straight A’s. Carol and Toby lived on Whidbey Island, Washington the first year of their marriage. When the war ended, they moved to Cameron, Montana and ranched together for 20 years. They owned Bear Creek Ranch (now Sphinx Mountain Ranch) and Antelope Basin cow camp raising Hereford cattle and three children.
Carol was a hardworking ranch wife, riding on cattle drives, trucking horses, cooking for the hay crew and chauffeuring the children to various school and seasonal sports activities. She started a club for ranch wives called the Mad Gals. She taught swimming at Ennis Lake, actively participated in the Trinity Episcopal Church, was a scout leader and had many very secret places to look for arrowheads with her friends and family. Carol and Toby owned a Cessna airplane which they used for business and which allowed them to travel throughout the United States and Mexico.
Carol and Toby sold Bear Creek Ranch in 1964 and bought a ranch along the Madison River; they called it Riverwood. They traveled to Australia where they invested in a sheep station. In 1967 Toby was recruited into the Peace Corps and served as Director in San Jose, Costa Rica.
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Carol loved Costa Rica where she created a haven for her family, many friends and colleagues. They stayed for 12 years. From Costa Rica, they moved to Annandale, Virginia where from 1979 to 1990 Toby worked as an agricultural consultant for AID and the World Bank. Again Carol was a magnet for new friends. In 1990, they retired back to the Madison Valley. Carol and Toby opened an antique store in Ennis, The Wayfarer. Carol joined the Madison Valley Woman’s Club, The Episcopal Church Women, The Ennis Arts Association, and The Madison Valley History Association.
Carol is survived by her three children, Richard Montgomery (Monty) Orr (Janette) of Houston, Texas, Elizabeth Orr Segal (Bill) of Middletown, Maryland, Katherine Jahns Orr (Randy Dix) of Helena, Montana. She leaves seven grandchildren, Tucker Orr (Tiffany Bridges), Julian Orr, Ansel Orr, Mia Orr, William Segal (Katy), Allison Giles (Nick), and Nicholas Segal (Iuliia), and six great-grandchildren, Grey Orr, Liam Orr, Lila Segal, Daniel Segal, Rose Elizabeth Giles and soon to be born baby girl Giles. She also leaves many loved nieces and nephews and grand nieces and grand nephews. Carol was predeceased by her husband Toby in 2003, her parents, her sister Alma Bacon and brother Richard Jahns.
Carol was the beacon of the family, always warm, unflappable, gracious, full of wit, humor and perspective. She had many talents including skiing, gardening, painting, cooking, and impromptu entertaining. She loved reading, travel, archaeology and her dogs. She deeply loved her family and friends.
A memorial celebration service for Carol will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Jeffers, July 29 at 11:00 a.m.
Thank you to her wonderful caregivers who turned into close friends and to the kind nurses at The Madison Valley Hospital. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 336, Ennis MT 59729 or the Madison Valley History Association, PO Box 474, Ennis MT 59729.
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