He was a good dancer, a great dad and husband, worked at his own pace, loved to sing, and was a big fan of Elvis and Johnny Cash.
Oh, he also loved to talk to anybody. His family said if he ever met a stranger, they didn’t remain one for long.
Gettysburg resident Robert J. “Bob” Orndorff, died at home on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, surrounded by his family.
Bob was born in Cumberland, Md., on April 29, 1948, a son of the late Roy Orndorff and Clara Julianna Cleary Fogle.
He had worked for the Gettysburg Highway Department for 42 years. He could often be seen watering and caring for the flowers in downtown Gettysburg.
He also worked for many years at Codori Memorials in Gettysburg.
“Bob was a dependable worker,” said John Lawver, former Gettysburg Public Works director and Bob’s former boss. “He worked for the borough forever. He could tell you stories about the weather, the highway department, snow, floods, all that.”
Randy Heflin worked alongside Bob for many of the older man’s tenure with the borough.
“It was a good group to work with,” Heflin said. “Bob was a good guy, a colorful guy to work for. He had his own pace, but he got it done.”
Heflin said Bob Orndorff was first and foremost a family man. Working for the borough was, in a way, a family affair: His father-in-law, Earl Kaufman, worked there for about the same length of time Bob did.
Heflin said Bob’s admiration for Elvis Presley was as powerful thing.
“He always talked like he was Elvis. We had some good times with him. He used to dance pretty good,” he said.
“He’d talk to anybody,” Heflin said. “He would catch my wife at the grocery store and follow her up and down the aisles, talking the whole time. He always had something to say. We were good buddies.”
Patricia “Pat” Kauffman Orndorff was married to Bob for 50 years and confirmed that there was no such thing as a stranger to him.
“We were at the mall, and I was sitting waiting for him. I heard singing. I went looking and there he was, standing with these ladies from South Carolina who were singing hymns. He was singing up a storm with them. He was so good to me. I really miss that little grin he had on his face,” she said.
Bob’s son, Kevin R. Orndorff, said Bob called him his little shadow.
“Me and my dad got along great. When I was a kid and he would go somewhere and I would beg him to let me go along with him, and usually I did,” he said.
They also used to watch professional wrestling together.
“That’s one thing I’ll never forget,” he said. “I was six or seven.”
Kevin described Bob as “a fantastic father.
“There is nothing I can complain about at all,” he said. “I miss him, and I always will. I think about him every single day. I miss that smile of his.”
In addition to Pat and Kevin, Bob is survived by two more sons, Robert E. of Gettysburg and John Orndorff of Greencastle, and a granddaughter Gabrielle Orndorff of Greencastle.
Bob is survived by his wife, Patricia A. “Pat” (Kauffman) Orndorff to whom he spent 50 wonderful and happy years of marriage; his three wonderful sons, Robert E. and Kevin Orndorff of Gettysburg, and John Orndorff of Greencastle; his beautiful granddaughter Gabrielle Orndorff; and two sisters and five brothers.
The family suggests memorials to the Adams County SPCA, 11 Goldenville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
“Absent Friends” is published in the Gettysburg Times on Thursdays. It tells the stories of people who go through their lives working and playing and affecting the lives of others with only a few ever knowing their names. Subjects are chosen mostly at random but suggestions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.