In Celebration of

Shirley Jane Orr

October 23, 1936 -  April 1, 2019

Passed away peacefully, after a lengthy illness on April 1st, 2019 at Humber River Hospital in her 83rd year. She had a long and distinguished career in health sciences education. Shirley was the wife of Frank Orr for 57 years. She is survived by her husband; a niece, Elizabeth Trickey of Atlanta, GA; a nephew, Blair Farrow of Newmarket, and cousin Bonnie (Platt) Harrison of Milton. She was predeceased by her parents, Stanley and Myrtle Turner, of Guelph and Orton ON, and her sister Orma and brother-in-law Gomer Farrow of Montreal and Oakville, ON. She was born on a beef cattle farm in East Garafraxa Township, Dufferin County, near the village of Orton. She attended the one-room Orton Public School and Fergus High School. She was enrolled in the music program at University of Toronto but made a late switch to the nursing school at St. Joseph's Hospital in Guelph, graduating as a registered nurse. After a year as an operating room nurse, Shirley attended Western University in London, ON, to study nursing education. Shirley taught at St. Joseph's for a year, then after her marriage to Frank Orr in 1961, she became a teacher at The Wellesley Hospital Nursing School in Toronto for 14 years, becoming the chief of the teaching staff. When the Wellesley school closed, she taught at Ryerson University and Seneca College before creating the curriculum for one of the first college programs for paramedics at Centennial College. She was then named as director and lead teacher of the paramedic program, a post she held for ten years. She was chairperson of the Ontario Department of Health committee that set the examinations for paramedics for 12 years. Shirley enjoyed a close, long-term relationship with the Corbett, Miller, Hughes and Dewhirst families. At Shirley's request, cremation has taken place. A Service of Remembrance will be held at Turner & Porter Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke, on Monday, April 8th at 3 p.m., preceded with visitation from 2 to 3 p.m. and followed by a reception. Inurnment is at the Park Lawn Mausoleum. Donations to the Humber River Hospital Foundation or the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundations in Shirley's name would be appreciated.


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Ian D. Donaldson (Paramedic Class of ‘78)

Entered April 4, 2019

Shirley had a very unique teaching style and was very instrumental in shaping many Paramedics careers in Canada.
Shirley was a true Pioneer of Paramedicine!
Rest In Peace my friend.

Joy Campbell (Friend)

Entered April 4, 2019 from Kitchener

My condolences to you Frank. She will be remembered in my prayers.

Donna Tweedell (Colleague at Wellesley School of Nursing)

Entered April 4, 2019 from Hamilton Ontario

I am sad to hear that Shirley has died. She was the most cheerful, optimist, hard working nursing colleague one could ever have. As a new teacher she taught me a lot and always in a respectful, kind manner. She was the heart and soul of the year 1 program.
I also have fond memories of a party for the staff at your home which was great fun and also an evening in Barbados with you both.
My warm regards.

susanne hudson (Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Grad 1966)

Entered April 4, 2019 from toronto

It's funny how some people have a lifelong impact on you. One of these is Shirley Orr but of course we called her Mrs. Orr.

Mrs. Orr was a wonderful teacher and we were all very fond of her. And here we are all these years saying 'Oh no..Mrs. Orr died!' An exceptional instructor and we were so lucky to have her as our teacher!

Susanne Hudson

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association 

Entered April 4, 2019 from Toronto

Our condolences to the entire family.
“The sun, the moon, the wind, the stars, will forever be around, reminding you of the love you shared, and the peace she’s finally found. (Unknown)
Shirley will be remembered by all her colleagues and students for her dedication to her student nurses at The Wellesley and nursing as a profession.


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