Evelyn Loretta Orth

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Evelyn Loretta Orth, 95, former longtime Norman resident, community volunteer and elected official died on Dec. 23, 2018, in Noble, Oklahoma. Born Aug. 28, 1923, in Pittsburgh, PA, Evelyn was the daughter of Harry and Lena Kusserow, and lived there until graduation from the University of Pittsburgh in 1941. She was awarded a graduate assistantship at the University of Wisconsin, where she met Leo Everett Orth and they were married in 1947. Upon her graduation in that year with an M.A. in Geography, and Leo's completion of a Ph.D. in Soil Fertility in 1950, they resided in Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa before moving to Norman in 1966. They retired to New Mexico in 1995. Leo died in 2003, and Evelyn returned to Norman, to live near her children and grandchildren.

Evelyn became involved in public affairs with her election to the Norman Board of Education on which she served from 1972 to 1977. Active in the Republican Party, she was elected County Commissioner in 1981, the first Republican to hold office in Cleveland County in 49 years. She served until 1983, and as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, was instrumental in the creation of a Citizens' Advisory Panel, in obtaining funding for a new County Detention Center, and a new facility for the County Welfare Department.

In the 1970's, Evelyn was a realtor, and a real estate appraiser, and for 25 years was a dedicated community volunteer in many civic, health, mental health, and cultural activities, including the League of Women Voters, the Cleveland County Mental Health Association, the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company, the Norman Code Enforcement Authority, being a member of the Norman School Board, and many more. She was a nominee for Norman Community Volunteer of the Year in 1985, and was awarded a Citation for Dedicated Community Service. Evelyn was proud to be a founding member of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Norman, Oklahoma.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leo E. Orth, in 2003, daughter Irene Jernigan in 2013, great grandson Rylan Thompson in 2016, and brother Oliver "Rusty" A. Kusserow in 2015. She is survived by two daughters, Cheryl Margaret and her husband, Jimmy Lee Chapman, of Long Beach, Indiana, and Wendy and her husband, Kevin Currigan, of Lakewood, Colorado; two sons, John Clinton Orth and his wife Teri of Norman, and Daniel Leo Orth and his wife Kimberly, of Lexington. Her grandchildren are Jay Brendan Chapman and his wife Patricia, of Downers Grove, IL, Casey Jonathan Chapman and his wife Marina and their two children of Woodridge, Illinois, Bryan Schneider and his wife Heather and their three children of Golden, Colorado, Brandon Thompson and his wife Olivia and their two children of Norman, and Makenna Orth of Moore, Oklahoma. Evelyn is also survived by her brother, Harry Kusserow and his wife Catherine of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, numerous nieces and nephews, and friends from St. Michaels Episcopal Church, and from the Noble Health Care Center.

The funeral will take place on Thursday, January 3rd, 10:30 a.m., at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 1601 W. Imhoff Rd., Norman, Oklahoma, to be followed by interment at the columbarium there. The celebrant will be Father Jason Haddox. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael's Episcopal Church or to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Norman, P.O. Box 1774, Norman, Oklahoma 73071.
Published on December 26, 2018
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