- Your News
By MARIAN GALBRAITH
In a dedication ceremony Monday, a 20-foot Norway spruce tree recently planted in Tullahoma’s History Park was dedicated in memory of the late George C. Orr, former Tullahoma mayor and businessman.
Sponsored by the Tullahoma Pride Foundation in coordination with the City of Tullahoma, the evergreen is centrally located near the “caboose” between the two railroad crossings at Grundy and Lincoln streets and is predicted to grow to 80 feet high.
A large plaque bearing Orr’s name was also unveiled during the ceremony that will be installed at the base of the tree.
Mayor Lane Curlee gave both opening and closing remarks.
“George Orr was a good friend of mine and a good friend to Tullahoma,” Curlee said, adding stories about the days when Orr was mayor and Curlee was an alderman.
Curlee read aloud a framed version of the city’s Proclamation in Sympathy and Memorial Dedication, stating that, “his death on Friday, January 6, 2012, leaves this City mourning the loss of a man of humility, compassion, honor, professionalism, and dedication…”
Orr was a 21-year veteran of the Air Force with tours of the U.S. and Europe in addition to his service in the Vietnam War.
After retiring as a Senior Master Sergeant in 1970, he became a well known Tullahoma realtor and auctioneer who served on many city boards in addition to serving as mayor from 1982 to 1986.
Despite the loud interruptions of a passing train, laughs and fond memories of Mr. Orr were shared by the speakers, including Stephen Worsham, who referred to Orr as one of his closest friends.
“George was a good friend to me and to many others, especially those who bought houses from him,” Worsham said. “I’m sure he’s up in heaven showing houses right now and finding all of us a place to live when we join him up there someday.”
Orr’s widow, Laura, said she was delighted with the choice of a tree for her late husband’s dedication.
“George was very interested in growth, especially the city’s growth,” Laura said, “so I’m glad there will be something here that’s growing in his honor.”
Patricia Lee, vice chairman of the Tullahoma Pride Foundation, explained that donations had already been made to cover the cost of the moving the tree to its current location as well as installing electricity and lighting for the tree in time for Christmas.
Additional tax-exempt donations can be made to the Tullahoma Pride Foundation, Inc., either in person at City Hall or by mail at P.O. Box 117, Tullahoma, TN 37388.
Proceeds can go toward Christmas decorations for this tree, or can be specified for other memorial trees or Tullahoma Pride beautification projects.
For more information call City Hall at 931-455-2648.