Gordon “Igloo” Neil Orr, age 85, of Columbus, MS, passed away Saturday, September 4, 2021, at his son’s home in St. Petersburg, FL.
Funeral services will be Friday, September 24, 2021, at 4:00 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, with Rev. Jason Shelby officiating with internment and graveside service to immediately follow at Friendship Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3:00 PM until the time of the service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Memorial Gunter Peel Funeral Home & Crematory, 903 College St. location, is in charge of arrangements.
Gordon was born February 9, 1936, in Memphis, TN, to the late Lucille Derryberry Orr and Dewey Orr. Gordon graduated East High School in 1954 where he was a popular student, drum major, thespian and avid golfer, receiving the nickname “Igloo” after caddying for a local pro who went by Igloo and mimicking his powerful golf swing. Gordon graduated both Mississippi State University and Vanderbilt University with degrees in Civil Engineering. He served as City Planner of Orlando, FL, where he met Gretchen “Gay” Orr, his wife of 56 years who proceeded him in death. Gordon began his long career in the hotel construction business working for Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson. As Director of Holiday Inn Europe, Gordon built over 50 hotels while providing his family wonderful adventures in Gibraltar, Monaco, Brussels and boating on the Mediterranean Sea. Gordon retired after 40 years of building hotels abroad and throughout the US; having also built many hotels, motels and other commercial properties in Columbus, including the Gilmore Inn, Holiday Inn, Ramada Inn, Comfort Inn and Littlewoods Mall to name a few. Gordon was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and First Baptist. He was very active and involved with the Columbus Swim Team, Columbus Country Club and an Old Waverly Golf Club founder. Gordon was a long-time member of the Columbus Breakfast Club and looked forward to starting each day in a coat and tie having breakfast with the business leaders of the community. He also enjoyed following MSU sports and watching his golf heroes on the television. Gordon was a strong advocate of Organ Donation and encouraged everyone to become a donor.
The family would like to thank the many caregivers who looked after Gordon’s health with such dedication, compassion, generosity, and love. In particular the family would like to thank Dr. John Fields, Dr. William Rosenblatt, Dr. Raymond Overstreet, Robert White, Baptist Health, SunCoast/Empath Hospice, and nurses everywhere too numerous to name. Your commitment to your patients is awe-inspiring and provided Gordon with a peaceful passing.
In addition to his parents and wife, Gay, he is preceded in death by his son, Jefferson Patrick Orr.
Survivors include sister, Patricia Matthews; sons, David Michael Orr, and his wife Laura, and Andrew Charles Orr, and his wife Angela; and grandchildren, Emma Reed Orr and Andrew Charles Orr, Jr.
Honorary pallbearers will be Mark Smith, Don Callaway, Jay Sutton, Fred Payne, Doug Phillips, Charles Jourdan and Bill Blair.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 55 E. Jackson Blvd, Suite 490, Chicago, IL 60604.