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Carole Yvonne Bordeaux Orr

August 14, 1941 — January 16, 2024

Kansas City

Carole Yvonne Bordeaux Orr, age 82, passed away on January 16, 2024. She was born in Rosebud, South Dakota on August 14, 1941, to Lilian Bordeaux and Roy Iverson. Carole was adopted at the tender age of three by Marion and Dulcie Tompkins. She cherished her formative years, growing up amidst the expansive ranchlands of South Dakota. Her fondest memories included riding her horse Jewel, to the quaint one-room schoolhouse called Running Bird. After 8th grade, Carole moved to Wessington Springs, South Dakota where she graduated high school.


In pursuit of new horizons, Carole attended a Junior College in Oklahoma and in 1961 relocated to the Kansas City area where she began a family of her own and had two children, Carolyn and John Sparks, Jr. In 1976, she received her undergraduate degree in sociology from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. Carole married James Orr in 1986.


She began her career in the insurance business and worked for Travelers Insurance. Later, Carole worked in the aviation industry contributing her administrative skills to both TWA and the Federal Aviation Administration. Driven by a desire to help others, she took the courageous step to further her education, earning a master's degree in social work in 1995 from the University of Kansas. Carole had found her calling and returned to her roots on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, dedicating herself to supporting behavioral health with the Indian Health Service for 10 years until her retirement in 2007. After retirement, she moved back to Kansas City to be with her family.


Carole had a few simple pleasures that brought joy to her everyday life. She had a strong faith in Christ and enjoyed her bible study classes. Her love for coffee was nothing short of obsessive, and her infectious sense of humor had a magical way of making everyone around her smile. An avid dog lover, she would take in strays and always had multiple pets in her house at any one time. 


Maintaining an active lifestyle, Carole participated in events such as the MS 150 and reveled in the joy of attending concerts. She was not only passionate about physical pursuits but also a gifted pianist, with the ability to play songs by ear. Carole was fond of traveling, particularly taking cruises and trips with her family.


Carole Yvonne Bordeaux Orr leaves behind a legacy of compassion, dedication, and a contagious zest for life. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband James ”Jim” Orr and son Thomas “Tommy” Orr. She will be dearly missed by all those whose lives she touched, including her children, Carolyn McShannon (Thomas), John Sparks (Debbi), and Wendy Flanagan (Jon), grandchildren Clayton McShannon, Courtney McShannon, JJ Flanagan, Landry Sparks, Jenna Sparks, and Lucy Sparks.


Services will be held at Terrace Park on Saturday, January 27th, with visitation beginning at 2:00pm, followed by the funeral service at 3:00pm. A private family burial will take place at Terrace Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to Red Horse Healing, P.O. Box 125, Piedmont, South Dakota 57769.


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