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Bernesha "Bernie" Lauren (Wright) Orrel

June 24, 1934 ~ July 12, 2018 (age 84)

Bernesha “Bernie” Lauren Wright Orrel, 84, was freed from the bondages of her crippled body on Thursday, July 12th at 8:30 p.m.   Surrounded by family, her soul and spirt were released to God where she joined her loved ones while residing at The Waters of Princeton from complications of multiple strokes over the past three years.

Bernie was born on June 24, 1934 in Erie, Illinois to Laban and Francis Wright who raised her till she was 12.  After the tragic death of her beloved baby sister Imogene, she moved to Olney, IL to live with her Aunt Agnes and Uncle Oakie where she graduated from East Richland High School in 1952 and was a majorette in the Band.  Into her 50s, she was still able to twirl a baton between her fingers, throw under her leg and catch it behind her back.  The Summer of 1952 she was crowned Miss Olney.

After a moving to San Diego, CA for a year she returned to Olney, IL and soon after met Chet Orrel of West Salem IL and they later eloped to Mississippi to wed (since Dad was only 17) on November 6, 1954 and remained married for almost 62 “wonderful” years. 

Bernie was a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals and IU basketball fan, avid gardner, bowler for over 65 years, a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, served as President of Babe Ruth baseball league for several years, coached girls’ softball and a supporter of the Little League baseball. 

Although she considered herself a full-time home maker, she worked several part-time jobs over the years at the grain elevator during grain season and at the PCMS as a cafeteria lady.

She is proceeded in death by her husband Chet Orrel, son Bradley Orrel, her parents Laban and Francis Hattan-Wright, Agnes and Oakie Grubb, her siblings Bud, Bessie, Alberta and Imogene Wright and great grandson Jacob Issac Powers. 

Surviving members of the family include her son Craig Orrel and daughter Lisa Wehrheim (Keith); grandchildren:  Jamie Carr (Justin), Jennifer Burns (Chris), KJ DeJarnett, Brad DeJarnett (Jaclyn), Danielle Clark (Chris) and great grandchildren Hunter Powers, Audrie Powers, Luke Powers, Bristol Powers, Skylar Kissel, Jackson Kissel, Brooklyn Burns, Emma Burns, Savannah DeJarnett, Braelyn DeJarnett, Liliana Clark, Christopher Clark III, and a player to be named later on the way.

Visitation will be held at Colvin Funeral Home in Princeton, IN on Saturday, July 21st between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with funeral service at 1p.m.  Following the service, burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Princeton.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bernie’s name to the Princeton Youth Baseball, PO Box 266, Princeton, IN 47670.

Expressions of sympathy may be offered or you may light a candle in memory of Bernie at www.colvinfuneralhome.com.

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