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Carolyn Orendo

June 4, 1940 ~ March 20, 2022 (age 81)


With much love and forever in our hearts, we share our mother and grandmother Carolyn Orendo passed away at age 81 peacefully early in the morning Sunday March 20, 2022 at her favorite time of year on the first day of spring.

Born on June 4, 1940 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Carolyn was the daughter of Eva and Elmer Zimmerman along with her siblings older brother John, younger brother Kenny, and younger sister Elizabeth. She graduated from Lebanon Catholic High School where her friends and family fondly called her Susie. She worked as a secretary and waitress living in Lebanon, Annville, Fredericksburg, and Fort Indiantown Gap. Mom was a Pennsylvania Dutch farm girl through and through and always had a love for gardening. Each spring she carefully planned out her garden with many varieties of fruits and vegetables that we all enjoyed. She also had quite a green thumb for planting flowers and could not wait in the springtime to see her first snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, tulips, and bluebells bloom. A few of her other favorite flowers were orchids, clematis, and violets. Mom was likewise an avid bird watcher who took great care with her many bird feeders all through her life. She couldn’t wait to see the first Robin and migrating birds all come back in the spring. Her favorite bird was the Bluebird which her Uncle Del worked diligently to increase the population throughout Pennsylvania and her brother John took great pride in building bluebird houses along with his wife our Aunt Millie. Here in Colorado, one of her favorite things the past few years as she was confined to a wheelchair was going on long drives and having picnics in the car looking for ospreys, hawks, bald eagles, geese, great horned owls, and especially a colony of great blue herons which recently returned to their nests. On that Sunday, our cousin Debbie and her husband Ike were the first to say mom passed on the first day of spring. This has brought us all such a sense of comfort and feeling of happiness for mom that she could go when she was ready on a day that will always bring a smile reminding us of her. The past several months were very tough and she has been such a fighter. We feel a sense relief she is no longer suffering and free again. She kept her sweet but sassy sense of humor until the very end and taught us what a beautiful thing this is for everyone during the best and toughest of times.

Carolyn was a single mom to daughters Lisa and Joyce for seven years until she married our “knight in shining armor” father Frank Orendo in 1969. Together we moved to his farm in Meckville where our two families became one. We are so happy that our niece Claudia, husband Steve, son Seth, and her mother who is our sister Beverly all live on that family farm today built by Frank in the 1950’s. Frank’s son Jimmy also lives nearby in Jonestown. Life on the farm was a wonderful way to grow up and we have such found memories of those good ole days together. Frank served in the Airforce during World War II and worked for the Department of Agriculture as the County Commissioner for the Farmers Home Administration. We are so proud of the work he did to help so many families in our community. Together Frank and Carol took many family trips to the Poconos, beaches in Delaware (mom’s favorite since childhood Rehoboth Beach), Maryland and New Jersey. During summer, we made our annual cross country road trips Westward Ho exploring the great outdoors with wide open spaces (dad always said that). This built a deep appreciation for the west and our National Parks eventually motivating our family move to Colorado.

Both mom and dad played a big part in the lives of their children (Beverly, Jimmy, Lisa, Joyce), grandchildren (Claudia, Kevin, Valarie, Evan, Ryan and great-grandson Seth), and extended Orendo, Zimmerman, Benzel, Farnsworth, Fields, and Allman families. So many good times celebrating the holidays, picnics in the woods, tending the animals and crops, Pennsylvania good home cooking, going to Farmers Markets, eating at favorite local restaurants, and enjoying the beautiful farmland and Appalachian Mountains. ​

They were such incredible grandparents. When Dave and I went into pre-term labor with our son Kevin and it became necessary to spend five months on bed rest, they immediately offered for us to come home to the farm and Kevin was delivered healthy and happy at the Hershey Medical Center. We are forever thankful to them. Along with Dave’s parents Bill and Margo, they were a constant part of our family at our homes in Timonium Maryland, Avondale Pennsylvania, Hershey Pennsylvania, and Long Beach Island New Jersey. After dad passed away suddenly in 1997, mom stayed at the farm for several years and then moved to Palmyra. In 2005, she made the move to Colorado where she remained until her recent passing. She enjoyed family life, exploring the Rocky Mountains, and together taking trips to Santa Fe, Scottsdale, Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone.

She loved to read. Her favorite books include James Michener’s Centennial and James Harriot’s collection of beloved country veterinarian stories for which we just finished reading his life story with each other. Her favorite movie was Gone with the Wind and fondly remembered when movies were only a nickel back in 1948. Her favorite actor was Tom Hanks, song “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole, colors green and pink, sweet treats chocolate and ice-cream, food cheeseburgers, and drink a good cup of coffee.

We are so happy she was able to live to see Kevin marry his second-grade sweetheart Caroline Brown. Recently, she also shared in the excitement to see Valarie have the honor of competing in the Olympics and bringing home the gold medal from Tokyo to her grandmother who was fondly dubbed the GOLDEN GRANNY by her caregivers at the nursing home.

We cannot express our gratitude enough to all the caregivers who so generously, kindly, and devotedly helped care for mom over the past eight years as part of Hover Senior Community here in Longmont. She transitioned from their Independent Living, Assisted Living, and just over a year ago to the Skilled Nursing Facility. The local Halcyon Hospice team was also incredible in helping mom and the staff at Katherine & Charles Green Houses. Through the dark days of COVID, they were steadfastly there for mom and our family, especially during the many months we could only visit her through her outside window. Mom sure loved so many of these kindhearted hard-working women and men ... and we could feel how much they cared for her too.

Mom’s wishes are to be cremated and to bring her ashes back to be reunited with our family and my Father Frank at his grave in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. We will also take her on one her much loved long drives to visit her many homes and favorite places. In a celebration of her life, we will then honor her request to spread her ashes over the water at a place were there are many birds flying overhead at one of those favorite spots.

Will miss her so much and carry her with us every day ... XOXO

With Lots of Love,

Daughter Lisa​

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