Mr. Billy Joe Orr,88, of Brandon passed away peacefully on July 20, 2021 at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland. Visitation will be held 12-2 pm Thursday, July 22, 2021 at Brandon First United Methodist Church in Brandon, MS. Funeral services will be 2:00 pm Thursday at Brandon First United Methodist Church followed by burial at Brandon Memorial Gardens.
Mr. Orr was born and raised in the Chester community in Choctaw County. He graduated from Ackerman High School and Mississippi State with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry. After college graduation, he served with the United States Army in the Korean DMZ for 19 months, and continued his military service in the National Guard and United States Army Reserve. He served as Company Commander of the 113th Military Police Company in Brandon and retired as a Colonel from the United States Army Reserve.
He married Delois McCulloch Orr of Ackerman in 1957. They were joyfully married for 40 years until her death in 1997. Billy and Delois moved to Brandon with the Mississippi Forestry Service, where they raised two sons and a daughter. Although he remained active in the forestry industry, Billy later served as director of the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce, and in 1978 became the Executive Director of the Mississippi Fair Commission until his retirement in 1999. He returned as Executive Director in 2009, serving until his final retirement in 2014. In 2015, he was recognized by the Mississippi Senate with a concurrent resolution for his longtime service to the Mississippi State Fair, the Dixie National Rodeo, and the state of Mississippi.
During his long and varied career, Billy served on many boards and commissions including the Rankin Hinds Flood District, President of the Brandon Lions Club, and as an alderman for the City of Brandon.
Billy was active in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives, coaching the famous Red team in Pee Wee football and supporting them in their extracurricular activities. He was a lifelong United Methodist and a longtime member of Brandon First United Methodist Church where he served in many positions, including longtime Communion Steward with his wife Delois and Chairman of the Pastor Parish Relations committee.
He enjoyed working in his yard with his faithful friend Jerry Quinn and was an avid fan of all Mississippi State sports. Billy loved his family and enjoyed family gatherings.
Billy was preceded in death by his devoted wife Delois, his parents Hutson and Pauline Hodges Orr, and his sister Patsy Orr Mayo.
He is survived by his daughter Whitney Orr of Madison, and his sons Joey Orr (Alison) of Brandon and John Orr (Robyn) of Arlington, TN; four grandchildren, Katie Orr Nelson (Joe) and Joseph Orr of Brandon and Hayley Orr Weiduwilt (Connor) and Lucy Orr of Arlington, TN; three great-granddaughters Clara, Amelia, and Abigail Nelson of Brandon; a sister Mitzi Orr Lawrence (Harold) of Ackerman and a brother Jerry Orr (Becky) of the Chester community; many loved nieces and nephews and special friend Rhodena Lang of Ackerman and her special family.
Billy’s family would like to thank the staff of The Blake at Flowood for their loving care of him over the last two years of his life.
Serving as pallbearers are Dr. Lester Spell, Jake Hutchins, Jerry Quinn, J.W. Beck, and Billy’s nephews Orry Lawrence, Preston Lawrence, Casey Orr, and Rob Mayo.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Billy’s memory to Brandon First United Methodist Church, 205 Mary Ann Drive, Brandon, MS 39042.
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