Laura Ruth Tucker Orr departed her life on March 13, 2021. She was born on December 27, 1935 to Gladys Tucker Simpkins and Willie Youmans, Sr., in Hampton County, South Carolina.
Laura grew up in Jasper County, SC with her Great-Aunt Mattie Mae Allen and Great-Uncle Rhett Allen and raised with her cousins (Frank, Elise, Dora, Wesley, Walter, Arthur, Hurley, John, Rudolph, Verna and Betty), who were more like siblings. She was educated in the Jasper County Public School system.
Laura met Marion Leroy Orr in Pineland, South Carolina and they were married on June 17, 1953. Laura and Marion moved north and settled in Elizabeth, New Jersey where Laura resided for over sixty-five (65) years. She worked for many years as a domestic worker, and then she began cooking at some of the local restaurants in Elizabeth. Laura was known for her soul food and her most beloved dishes were her potato salad and macaroni & cheese.
For over thirty (30) years, Laura lived on Court Street in Elizabeth, where she enjoyed playing cards and having cookouts with her family and friends. She always made her presence known and had a big smile that would “light up a room”. She loved having a good time and would dance in her seat while listening to “down home blues” music. For fun, Laura played the lottery and would go to the casinos. She also enjoyed watching “Judge Judy” and “Jerry Springer” on TV. Her favorite pastime though, was talking and laughing on the telephone with her family and friends, which allowed her to stay connected to everyone from New Jersey down to South Carolina and Georgia.
Since 2015, Laura had been a resident of Elmora Hills Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Elizabeth, NJ. She participated in their various activities and was known for her humor and wit. She was loved by the staff who affectionately called her “grandma”.
Laura was predeceased by her husband, Marion Leroy Orr; her mother, Gladys Tucker Simpkins, her father, Willie Youmans, Sr., her brothers: Willie Youmans, Jr., Nathaniel Youmans, Jimmie Lee Youmans, Jerome Johnson and Albert Goodwin; her sisters: Gussie King, Shirley McLamore, Jacquelyn Youmans, and Bonnie Youmans Johnson.
She leaves to cherish her memory: Her two daughters: Barbara Orr Stevens Mungin of Pineland, SC and Cynthia Orr Singleton (Bruce) of Atlanta, GA; her four sons: Robert L. Orr (Louise) of Pineland, SC, Marion S. Orr (Diane) of Atlanta, GA, Ronald W. Orr (Georgia) of Elizabeth, NJ and Glenn S. Orr (Jackie) of Atlanta, GA; 18 Grandchildren: Jeannine C. Orr, David Stevens, Asher Pickney, Barry Jerome Orr, Roderick Orr, Demetria Primus Jones, Terrence Orr, Nyasha Housey, Jeremy Major, Latoya Orr, Ashley Orr, Tatiana Orr, Patricia Williamson, Marion S. Orr, Mariel S. Orr, Marquez Orr, Crystal Orr and Keyonah Orr; and 34 great-grandchildren.
Laura is also survived by her aunt: Pearl McNeal of Rahway, NJ; her brothers: John Simpkins (Sandra) of West Babylon, NY and Paul Goodwin of Germany; her sisters: Barbara Simpkins Norfleet of Oakland, CA, Minnie Youmans of Atlanta, GA, Patricia Burgess of Georgetown, SC and Paulette Youmans of Andrews, SC; brothers- in- law: Thomas Orr, Sr. (Rosa Lee) Pineland, SC and Kernell Cohen (Jacqueline) of Willingboro, NJ; sister-in-law: Evangelist Patricia Ann Cohen of Savannah, GA; special daughter-in-law: Keena Taylor Pompey; special cousins: Molly Clark and Dina Robinson; longtime companion: Roland Wallace Dawson; the Allen, Dawson, Harris and Peterson families, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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