Cover photo for Mary T. Orr's Obituary
1947 Mary 2023

Mary T. Orr

October 2, 1947 — October 1, 2023

Lansing, NY

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved, Mary T. Orr, who battled COPD for several years. She peacefully passed away on October 1, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Mary Orr, affectionately, known as Mom and Grammy, was born and raised in Ithaca and lived on Cayuga Lake. She was the daughter of Bud and Barb Tompkins, and predeceased by her sister, Susan Brown Masters.  She was small, but mighty - a true warrior and hero in every sense. Her perseverance and strength were inspiring to all who knew her. Throughout her lifetime, she accomplished many remarkable things. First and foremost, she was a dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother. She made a commitment to her family as a homemaker for years. During this time, she proudly served as the President of the Service League, dedicating herself selflessly to helping others. Her compassionate nature and unwavering commitment touched numerous lives. For many years, she showcased her exceptional professional skills as the trusted Events Planner to the President of Cornell University. She took great pride in this role and left an indelible mark on the institution. Mom was a woman of many talents. She had an affinity to fast, sporty vehicles, especially Corvettes. She taught herself the art of fiberglass work and meticulously restored her 1963 Corvette, which was a source of immense pride for her. She discovered a passion for painting, particularly birds, and developed her skills as a self-taught artist. Her beautiful creations will be cherished as a reflection of her creativity and love for nature. An avid reader, mom instilled a love of books in her daughters. Weekly trips to the library were cherished moments of discovery and connection. Her green thumb brought life and beauty to her surroundings, as she cultivated both bountiful vegetables and vibrant flowers in her beloved gardens.   She possessed an innate sense of style and artistry, skillfully decorating her homes. A fabulous cook, she delighted in preparing wonderful meals for her family. Mom’s sense of fashion frequently led her to Bon Ton, where she meticulously selected classy outfits for work, always radiating elegance.  But beyond her accomplishments, mom’s compassion, talent, and unwavering drive set her apart. She was a pillar of strength, a source of guidance, and a beacon of love for her family and friends. In honor of Mom‘s incredible life, a graveside service will be held for family at East Lawn Cemetery. Mary T. Orr leaves behind her devoted husband, John Orr, loving daughters, Tracy (Jason) Eygnor and Barb Williams (Hoppy), grandsons Bobby (Kaitlynn) Polcaro, Jimmy Durkee (Nichole Linfoot), Jacob Durkee (Sarah Towers), and Mickey Williams, as well as many great-grandchildren.

May we remember and celebrate the extraordinary life of our dear mom, whose spirit will forever live on in our hearts. Please share your memories and messages of condolences at Lansing Funeral Home’s online memorial guestbook.

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven, where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” - Eskimo Proverb



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East Lawn Cemetery Association

934 Mitchell St, Ithaca, NY 14850

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