John Orban Jr.
John Orban Jr., 100, of Sun City, AZ, formerly of Garden City and Roxbury, passed away on March 7, 2012. John was born in 1912 in Jersey City, NJ.
John was the son of Elizabeth Safner Orban and John Orban, both immigrants from Hungary in the early 1900s. While he was young, his family moved to the Bronx.
John was one of four children. His sister Mary and his sister Helen predeceased him.
He is survived by his sister Rose Orban Schneck of Paramus, NJ.
John graduated from Stuyvesant High School and Colgate University. He received his MA from Columbia University. John’s first teaching job was in Norwich, where he met and later married his first wife, Kathleen “Kay” Booth DeLaney.
John and Kay moved to Garden City where they lived and where John taught chemistry for 39 years at the Garden City High School.
During World War II John served with the Air Force, first with B-17s, then B-24s and finally B-29s as a weather officer.
Kay Orban predeceased John in 1992.
John and Kay had a cabin on Vega Road in Roxbury for over 50 years. John and Kay and their children, John and Boots, loved the time that they spent in the Roxbury mountains and the surrounding area every year. Their Roxbury friends were very special and important to them.
Kay DeLaney Orban, “Miss DeLaney”, was a Skidmore College classmate of Pauline Lutz Hopkins of Roxbury and was hired for her first teaching job at the Roxbury Central School. After WWII, John and Kay returned to Roxbury and purchased their cabin on the Vega Road.
John is survived by his second wife, Shirley Hurt Orban, Sun City AZ, formerly of Garden City.
John is survived by two children; a son, John Orban III (Yuko) of Oklahoma City, OK and a daughter, Kathleen “Boots” Booth Orban Safford (H. R. (Bob) Safford III) of Denver, Colorado; two grandchildren, Kathleen Elizabeth Safford Coors (J. Bradford Coors) and H. R. (Rob) Safford IV; and triplet great-grandchildren, Cecily, Joseph and William Coors.
John said, “words have been my delight, to show how things are, and then by persuasion, to suggest how some of them might be.” In addition to teaching, he pursued his love of words in writing and public relations, an essayist in the field of education and science, and later in financial reporting, fund raising and public relations.
He was ahead of his time, taking a course in ecology in 1935 at Columbia.
John liked wood and to work with wood. Later in life, he carved beautiful shore birds, which he often gave to his friends.
Throughout his life, John was recognized for his high intelligence, his high energy, his lifelong learning, his curiosity, his compassion, his sense of humor, his love of travel, his story telling, for being a force for good in the world, his love of the outdoors, especially the time he spent at the Orban cabin in Roxbury. John’s life was an immigrant success story. John will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
No service is planned. John will be buried at the cemetery in Roxbury in the summer.
A graveside service will be held at that time. The family suggests that donations be sent to the John Orban Memorial Fund, 7701 E Archer Place, Denver, CO 80230 or to a charity of choice in John Orban’s memory.