James T. Orr, Sr. (“Tommy”, “Pookie”, “Papa Tom”) 78, passed away from natural causes on June 16, 2020, at his home in Portland, CT. Tom began his journey in North Adams, MA, born on August 21, 1941, to the late James C. Orr and Janet (Connell) Orr. Tom was very proud of his Scottish heritage. His mother was born in Scotland. Tom lived in several locations in CT and Long Island, until settling in Portland, CT. He spoke often of his idyllic teenage years growing up in Remsenburg, Suffolk, NY, near the water. He served in the United States Coast Guard for eight years and from all accounts enjoyed his duties including locations in Bermuda and Newport, RI.
Tom was employed at Pratt & Whitney for almost 50 years including his time as a contractor to PW for Belcan. He was respected for his knowledge as a Quality Engineer. He was kind, loyal, compassionate, and passionate about his work and loved his family and friends dearly, developing many longtime relationships. He was also known for his sense of humor no matter how many times you heard the same joke.
Tom was a jack of all trades dabbling in electrical work, plumbing, home renovations and car repair. He was always up to the challenge. He enjoyed cars and attended many car shows, swap meets and flea markets with his friends and sons. Tom’s work ethic was legendary in the neighborhood. Strangers walking by would often stop and comment on our beautiful home and yard. Tom enjoyed helping people in the neighborhood with lawnmower repairs, snow removal or any other assistance.
Tom is survived by his longtime partner Susan Jackson with whom he lived for over 35 years and her family – Jean Jackson (mother), Cathy Tomasso (sister) and husband Joe, their three daughters and granddaughter, and Steven Jackson (brother). He is also survived by a sister Ann Gilpatrick and her husband Al (Conway, SC), sons James T. Orr, Jr. and his wife Denise (Alexandria, KY), and Colby Orr and his wife April (Spartanburg, SC), eight grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and several godchildren as well as niece Jan Narciso and her husband Ray. Tom’s four cats, Ali Kat and her children Scout, Rex and Coco, dearly miss their Daddy.
A graveside service will be held on Thursday, June 25th at 11:00 am in Indian Hill Cemetery, 383 Washington Street, Middletown. Donations may be made in his memory to CATALES, P.O. Box 901, Middletown, CT 06457, or any animal rescue organization. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
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