She was born Oct. 19, 1926, to Paul and Frances Speece Workman. She was educated in Mackinaw area schools. Because of a shortage of male students during World War II, she entered Illinois Wesleyan University following her junior year of high school. There she earned her Bachelor of Science degree and later her Master of Science degree.
She married William H. Orth of Fairbury on April 29, 1949, in Mackinaw. He preceded her in death on Sept. 17, 2010.
The Orths farmed in the Fairbury area. Through the years, Mrs. Orth taught girls’ physical education, history, geography, science, Illinois history, and health in junior high and high school in the Chenoa, Fairbury Township, Fairbury-Cropsey, and Prairie Central school systems. She also taught fourth grade for one year at Westview Grade School. She sponsored the Girls’ Athletic Association, cheerleaders, and Illinois History Club. In 1984, Gov. James Thompson named her Illinois History Teacher of the Year and she received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. She enjoyed helping students discover their potential, especially through project work.
Mrs. Orth was a past member of Kappa Delta sorority, Country Domestic Science Club, Order of the Eastern Star, Indian Creek Country club and various local bridge clubs. She was an avid golfer and football fan. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Fairbury where she sang in the choir and served on various committees.
She is survived by one daughter, Ann (Jay) Nussbaum of Bloomington, two grandchildren, William (Alexis) Nussbaum of Bloomington and Casey (Tyler)Zimmerman of Bloomington, and three great-grandchildren, Kayla and Seth Nussbaum, and Jaycee Zimmerman, at home.
According to her wishes, there will be no visitation and graveside services will be private. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury is in charge of the arrangements.
The family thanks Dr. Sam Steffen, the staff of Fairview Haven in Fairbury, and OSF Home Care Services for their excellent care and suggests that memorials be directed to Fairview Haven Retirement Community or Dominy Memorial Library, both in Fairbury.