My (only) Aunt, Anne Orren, was a remarkable lady. She was smart as a whip; had a wicked-dry sense of humor; and always came to mine and my parents’ rescue, even when we certainly didn’t deserve it. I also suspect that at least some of my resistance to authority tempered with an ability to work the system came straight from her.
She also, in her own way, understood the importance of the hyperlocal communities we’re seeking to connect — she was more deeply rooted into her community than anyone I’ve ever seen. And she took her convictions to the most local level — helping individuals change their lives through education.
Anne died this week after a short bout with cancer. She was feisty to the last. I already miss her.
Ever the pragmatist, she wrote her own obituary six weeks ago so that the rest of us wouldn’t screw it up:
Obituary for Anne Burnette Orren
Anne Burnette Orren passed away Thursday December 1st after battling MS most of her
life and Cancer for the past year.
Anne was born March 7th, 1939 in Reidsville, NC to parents James Franklin Orren Sr.
and Marian Chance Orren, who preceded her in death.
She graduated from Reidsville High School in 1957 as class valedictorian.
Anne was a National Merit Scholarship recipient and was an Angier B. Duke Scholar at
Duke, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with an AB in Psychology in 1961. Anne
was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She did graduate studies at UNC Chapel Hill and
UNC Greensboro, majoring in Psychology and Education. She graduated from UNC-
Greensboro in 1968 with a Masters Degree in Guidance.
She was active with Girl Scouting and attended the National Girl Scout All States
Encampment in Cody Wyoming in 1955. Anne loved the outdoors and worked as a trip
counselor from 1959-64 at Camp Wyonegonic ( Est. 1901, the oldest girls camp in the
US) in Denmark, Maine
She began her work career at the NC Employment Security Commission, then served two
years on staff at High Point College. In 1967, Anne moved to Lexington, NC to work for
Davidson County Community College where she was a guidance counselor for 31 years,
before retiring in 1999.
Anne was a volunteer for Medical Ministries in Lexington until her own declining health
would no longer permit her to do so.
Anne is survived by a brother Frank Orren and wife Faye Hepler Orren of Lexington, an
aunt, Sara Orren Yount of Reidsville, NC, nephew Michael Orren and wife April of
Anne chose to donate her remains for medical research. A gathering for friends and
family to remember Anne will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers Anne and the family request that donations be made to Hospice of
Davidson County POB 1941 Lexington, NC 27292-1941, The DCCC Foundation A. B.
Orren Scholarship POB 1287 Lexington, NC 27293-1287, or to the charity of your
Anne’s Life Ending Statement
"I give you this one thought to keep – I am with you still, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am
the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings’ hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush of
Quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone – I am with you still, in each new dawn"
-Native American Prayer