Dr. Forrest Clarence Orman was born June 13, 1918, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and died in Lufkin, Texas, on April 2, 2008. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary, and children, Douglas Orman of West Palm Beach, Florida, Pat Orman of San Antonio, Texas, and Laura Clader of Pleasanton, Texas, and grandchildren, Christopher Orman, Lauren Orman, Kyle Clader, Curtis Clader and Bridger Clader. He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Mabel Orman, and brother, Kenneth Orman.
Dr. Orman's family moved from Oklahoma to Houston, Texas, in 1925. He attended the Houston public schools in which his father was an administrator. He won the American Legion award at Pershing Junior High School and graduated with highest honors from Sam Houston High School.
Dr. Orman earned his pre-med degree from Rice Institute and took great satisfaction in reminding all of us that during his years of attendance, the Fightin' Rice Owls were a football powerhouse of the Southwest Conference. His pride was never dimmed by subsequent events.
After his graduation from Rice in 1938, he attended the Galveston branch of The University of Texas Medical School where he was a member of the Theta Kappa Psi medical fraternity and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. After receiving his medical degree, Dr. Orman completed his internship at City Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
His plans for continuing his medical studies were interrupted by World War II. In 1942, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He served in the European theatre. He received five campaign medals and was awarded the bronze star medal for service in France following the D-Day Normandy invasion. After the war, he served in the Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1953 at the rank of Major.
Upon his return to the U.S. from his war service, Dr. Orman renewed his studies toward becoming a specialist in general surgery. He completed his residency in surgery at the Jefferson Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia, where he met his wife, Mary Virginia Leonard, who attained her RN degree from the Jefferson Hospital school of nursing.
On December 6, 1947, Forrest and Mary married in her home town of Galax, Virginia. As newlyweds, they moved to Haynesville, Louisiana, where Dr. Orman spent three years in practice before leaving to attend the Graduate School of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Upon completion of this curriculum, Dr. Orman spent a year as chief surgical resident at the University of Oklahoma Veterans Administration Hospital in Oklahoma City, OK.
The Ormans moved to Lufkin, Texas, in 1952. Here he established his surgical practice and was the first board certified surgeon in Angelina County. He practiced in Lufkin until his retirement in 1983. He was a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Medical Society, the Texas Surgical Society and the Texas Medical Society. He served in several leadership roles with the Angelina County Medical Society. He was Chief of Surgery at Lufkin Memorial Hospital and Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Woodland Heights Hospital.
He was a member of the First Christian Church where he served on the church board, as a deacon and as chairman of the organ committee. His service to the Lufkin community included board membership of the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, the Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, the Lion's Club and the Cotillion Club.
After thirty-one years of surgical practice, Dr. Orman retired, and soon thereafter he and Mary relocated to Rockport, Texas, to pursue his avocation of fishing. They spent 16 years of cherished time in Rockport before returning in 2005 to Lufkin and the comfort of many long time friendships. Aside from his distinguished professional career, Dr. Orman was an avid outdoorsman, an accomplished photographer and a student of history. He leaves a legacy of service and caring which we honor and hope to continue.
Memorial services for Dr. Orman will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 5, 2008, in the First Christian Church of Lufkin with Reverend Mike Hunter officiating.
Friends are invited to visit with the family from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday evening at Gipson Funeral Home.
The family thanks Dr. Orman's kind caregivers at the Pinecrest Retirement Community. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the First Christian Church of Lufkin or to the charity of your choice.
Gipson Funeral Home; Bill Swearingen, director