Former librarian dies in car accident

A retired university librarian died Sunday night following a car accident near Mount Carmel, IL in Wabash County.

Philip Orr, 67, retired last semester after working at the university full-time since 2001.

“He was a workaholic,” Serials Technical Services Librarian Peter Whiting said. “He was always very respectful, kind and generous. He was really a team player.”

Whiting, who was a member of the search committee that hired Orr, said he was proudest of his role in distance education at the university.

Along with being a reference librarian, Orr was an integral part of the continued development of Distance Learning. He was a member of the team responsible for formulating the Distance Learning Strategic Plan during the summer of 2012.

“He was very detail oriented,” Whiting said. “He had a great passion for the library and helping students and faculty. He really had an impact on people.”

Director of Rice Library Marna Hostetler had worked with Orr since the university hired her in 2012. She said he was on the search committee that hired her.

“He brought a sense of professionalism to his job,” she said. “He always gave his all and he was a great colleague.”

Hostetler said her favorite memory of Orr was when he wrote her son a letter after he had broken his leg and had to wear a cast

“He took the time to write him a letter about when he was a boy and he broke his leg,” she said. “He was encouraging him and it was just very thoughtful.”

The Wabash County Sheriff’s department said it was unable to provide The Shield with a copy of the accident report Tuesday afternoon.

This story will be updated online as more information becomes available.