Larry Orr, a trucking industry visionary and engineering innovator, passed away May 31 at the age of 60 after a long battle with cancer.
"Larry Orr was one of the most significant innovators in the trucking industry," said Ed Caudill, Kenworth Truck Co. general manager and Paccar Inc. vp. "Larry made lasting contributions to Kenworth and PACCAR during his career. He will be greatly missed."
A legend in the trucking community for his creativity and innovation, Orr was best known for his leadership role in the development of the first truly aerodynamic Class 8 truck, the Kenworth T600A, which was introduced in 1985. Orr and his engineering and design team were awarded the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Award for the Advancement of Motor Vehicle Research and Development in 1995 in recognition of that achievement.
“The first drivers took some ribbing for the truck they dubbed 'Anteater,'" Orr said in a 1995 interview. "They would say, 'I'll hold my nose and take the teasing.' The first brave souls did that, but it didn't really bother our engineering team because we knew we had a winner."
Orr had a distinguished 36-year career with Kenworth and Paccar. He continued to work throughout his illness, most recently as Kenworth technology planning manager.
Prior to that, Orr served in other key positions, including as Kenworth's chief engineer, advanced concepts manager, engineering manager for new products. He also served as Paccar corporate director of research and development.
Orr is survived by his wife Carol and their children, Bill, Cathy and Mary.
Funeral services for Larry Orr will be held on Thursday, June 7, at 11 a.m. at St. Madeleine Sophie Catholic Church in Bellevue, WA. Donations may be made to Sacred Heart Radio, Catholic Community Services, the American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.