Ross (Gramps) Orton, age 101 years, a resident of Ripley, NY for 63 years and recently Caledonia died November 23, 2007 at the home of his granddaughter in Caledonia. Mr. Orton was born July 7, 1906 in North East, PA to Joseph and Adah Orton. He was a 1929 graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture, and actively engaged in farming until a stroke in October 1993 forced him to retire. During the 40's, 50's and 60's, he was considered "one of the largest egg producers in the East." He also raised turkeys for the local holiday market. His interests in fruit production included peaches, grapes, sour cherries, prunes, and quinces. Cash crops included cauliflower and cantaloupe. He was the former owner/operator of the Agway (GLF) Agency in Ripley. At the time of his death, he was the oldest member of the National Grape Coop. During his years in Caledonia, he enjoyed Cal-Mum football games, wrestling meets, and new friends made through church attendance and community events. Mr. Orton was a 52-year member and 32nd degree Mason of the Summit Lodge #0219 of Westfield and member of Jamestown Consistory. He was a member of Pomona chapter of the Empire State Grange for over 60 years, a Life member of the IOOF (International Order of Odd Fellows), Elder for the Presbyterian Church, Former director of National Bank of North East, former councilman for the Town of Ripley, former director of Keystone Grape Coop. and Co-founder of the Ripley Beach Association.
Mr. Orton is survived by his daughter Lois and Rodney Odell of Springville, NY sons, J. Roy and Carol Orton of Ripley, NY and Donald and Shirley Orton of Springville, NY; 9 grandchildren, Colleen and Edward Schiedel of Caledonia, with whom he has lived for the past 7 years, Sharon and Eugene Rothenberg of Richland, MI, Laurel and Richard Rizzetta of Winchester, VA, Marybeth Orton of Louisville, KY, Beverly and Sean Jones of Lakewood, CO, Patti Daugherty of Ripley, NY, Eric and Michelle Orton of Jackson, WY, Kari Jo and David Nieman of Honeoye Falls, NY, Janise and Jeff McNally of Highlands Ranch, CO. 16 great grandchildren, 2 nieces; Adah (Richard) Schriefer and Judy (Thomas ) Schenker; 1 nephew, Guy (Gerri) Orton and sister-in-law; Ruth Collyer all of North East PA. His wife of 59 years, Martha K. Orton, and brothers, Max (Meda) Orton, Floyd (Marion) Orton, Guy Orton and sister Cecille Allen May predeceases Mr. Orton.
Friends called Friday, November 30, 2007 from 3-7 PM at the Alhart Funeral Home, 3068 W. Main Street, Caledonia. A Masonic Service was held prior to calling hours.
The family received visitation from 1:30-2:30 PM on Sunday, January 6, 2008 in the parlor of the First Presbyterian Church in North East, PA; followed by a memorial service celebrating Ross's life. Memorials may be made First Presbyterian Church, 25 W. Main St., North East, PA 16428 or the Ross Orton Wrestling Scholarship Fund, PO Box 155, Caledonia, NY 14423. Arrangements made by Alhart Funeral Home, 3068 West Main Street, Caledonia, NY 14423.