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The Pilot’s Association has lost a dear friend and founding member, A. Lee Orr

Media Contacts

Don Morgan – President  – 864-237-0217 email :

K. Joe Sessoms – Public Relations Chair 864-237-8378 email:

For Immediate Release:  01/12/2020

It is with great sadness the Spartanburg Pilots Association announces the death of one of its original founding members, Mrs. A. Lee Orr on Saturday January 12, 2020.

Association President Don Morgan and Immediate Past President Ed Vess issued a joint statement earlier today concerning the passing of one of South Carolinas Icon’s in the Aviation Industry.  “We are deeply grieving the loss of our dear friend, leader, fellow pilot, and trainer, Lee Orr. We had the privilege of working with this gifted visionary who not only poured her life into the Spartanburg Downtown Airport and the Spartanburg Pilots Association but shared her life experiences with all of us.”

 Lee Orr’s background as engraved on her induction into South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame Plaque in 2001.


Lee Orr entered the aviation field in 1950, and she obtained her private pilot certificate in 1965. Over the years, she has taught nearly 1,000 people how to fly, and hundreds of those people are in the Spartanburg area.

In 1971, Orr joined the Arkansas Chapter of the Ninety Nines, the women pilots’ organization, and she helped charter the Blue Ridge Chapter. She has held many leadership positions in the organization, as well as secretary and governor on both the national regional levels. From 1989 to 1996, she served on the International Board of Directors.

A veteran of many air races, Orr has competed in the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race (AWTAR), the Air Race Classics and the Powder Puff Derby. In 1988, she received the Amelia Earhart scholarship. With more than 25,000 hours of flying time, she has served as a role model for women in aviation as well as a mentor for countless pilots and colleagues.

She has dedicated her entire flying life to the people of South Carolina, working with her local students and sending them off to aviation careers and hobbies across the world. Through her dedication to the field, both in instruction and safety, many pilots have come to know the freedom and responsibilities of flight.


As we remember A. Lee Orr’s departure into the western Sun, this may just be her final message to those of us left behind.

I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day,

I don’t borrow from its sunshine, for its skies may turn to gray,

I don’t worry over the future; For I know what Jesus said:

And today, I’ll walk beside HIM, For he knows what is ahead.