Wilbert ‘Harold’ Orr 
Location served:
Years in Practice:
1939 to 1999
Area of Specialization:
Family Medicine  


Dr. Wilbert “Harold” Orr was born near Watford (Lambton County), Ontario on the 28th of December, 1912.  Dr. Orr was the youngest of 3 sons born to James “Chester” Orr and the former Frances Ada Brown.  Dr. Orr’s parents were farmers and his siblings were; Chester Lloyd Orr and Frederick James Orr.  He was educated in a one-room schoolhouse, before going to Arkona Continuation School for two years and then to the Watford High School.

Dr. Orr attended the University of Western Ontario and obtained a B.A. followed by his M.D. in 1937. His education did not stop there. He went on to complete 2 years of post-graduate studies at Hamilton General Hospital. Dr. Orr took a post-graduate course in pediatrics at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Orr opened his medical practice in Ridgetown in 1939.  Dr. Orr wore many hats over the years, including being President of the Kent County Medical Society in 1962 and performing the duties of Chief of Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital (Chatham).  Dr. Orr was also a County Coroner.

Dr. Orr married Grace Irene Rappolt on the 28th of June, 1942.  Mrs. Orr was born in Galt, Ontario on the 25th of February, 1916.  She was the youngest of 3 children born to John Rappolt and the former Grace Wight. At the time of her birth she resided at 12 Wellington Street in Galt, but she was raised on a farm in Beverley Twp., near Hamilton (Ontario).   Her siblings were; Marguerite May Rappolt and John Kenneth Rappolt.  Mrs. Orr was a registered nurse.

Dr. and Mrs. Orr had three children, Jane Elizabeth Orr, Douglas Harold Orr and Margaret Grace Orr.

Dr. Orr belonged to the Rotary Club of Ridgetown and was President at one time. He was a member of the Mocha Shrine and held the position of Worshipful Master of the Blue Lodge. He enjoyed golfing in the summer and curling in the winter.

Dr. Orr employed the same nurse, Jessie Millar for 41 years.  In his obituary that appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (June 15, 1999 Pg 1803), it reported that Dr Orr “delivered 1800 babies-more than half the current population of Ridgetown).

Mrs. Orr died at her residence in Ridgetown on the 26th of January, 1996.  Dr. Orr died at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance on the 2nd of January, 1999.  Dr. and Mrs. Orr were buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Ridgetown.