The morning of Monday, June 29, 2020, Arthur Otto Orjias passed away at the age of 89.
Birth/death date: 6/10/1931. Died at age 89, 6/29/2020
Mother and Father (both deceased), Romona Orjias, Theodore Orjias
Siblings Still Alive (brother): Ted Orjias
Deceased Siblings (sisters): Romona Turner and Roberta Maxwell
Wife: Margaret Orjias
Daughter: Barbara Kluksdahl
Sons: Art and John Orjias
5 grand children
My mom and him were married 12/26/1954 in Tampa, Florida. Moved to New Orleans in 1954, where he worked for TACA Airlines as a mechanic, while he went to school for the trade which he loved in the field of aviation.
In 1955 he was hired on with Pan American, where he worked 22 years, during which time they were transferred to Florida.
Over time, Pan American Airlines started to struggle financially so my parents made the decision to move to Colorado.
My father was a hard worker, and traveled to and from Florida and Colorado on a reduced schedule with Pan American. He, my mom and my brother built their home without the use of heavy equipment, in the dead of winter in below-freezing temperatures, during 1972 - 1973.
He received schooling in electronics repair during this time to help bring in extra income. He also owed and operated an FBO aviation service, where he built the aircraft hanger that he ran the business out of. He did this during the years 1981 - 1995.
While running his business, he was called upon by larger airlines because, at the time, he was one of the few people in the area available with the needed experience, having spent many years working on aircraft as large as 747s with Pan American. He was always a hard worker and he had many different jobs during all this time, even working on cars - which he hated - to make sure his family was provided for.
After an automobile accident in 1997, he was forced into retirement due to injures, which made it impossible for him to work in confined areas as an aircraft mechanic.
Even after retirement, however, he always kept busy; building fences, other projects around the house, and helping his children on various projects. He would jokingly say, “I have not retired, I just don’t get paid anymore.”
Even after a heart attack and 2 strokes, he still kept going. He got slower over the years, but he always kept busy, until he just could not do it anymore. He refused to use a wheelchair most the time, he always wanted to walk, so we would patiently wait 45 minutes to enter a restaurant. 🙂
Fond memory from Margaret: Being such a hard worker, and because money was generally tight, there was not a lot of opportunity to do anything fancy. On their 10th anniversary, he got dressed up in a suit, came to the front door as if it was their first date with flowers and candy. He took me to a restaurant called the South Pacific. where they had a floor show, and it was very extravagant. He looked very handsome, and it’s a memory that sticks out in my mind. Arthur never failed to tell me nearly every day, often several times a day “I Love you, Babe”.
Fond memory from Barbara: I remember as a little girl sitting in Dad's lap while he played classical music on LPs. Even though my family nickname is Babs, Daddy called me Baffie. And despite Covid, we ( mom, dad, Ken and I) were able to get outside during our last visit and we remember his laughing and good humor.
Fond memory from Artie: I remember regularly going in Saturday morning service, doing street witnessing work at a little mall in Hollywood Florida. Then after service, Dad would take my sister and I to Jackson’s Ice Cream Parlor for ice cream, and then we would come home and watch Star Trek together.
Fond memory from John: My dad wanted me to follow in his footsteps, while I did grow have an appreciation for aviation, I never wanted to be a mechanic. None the less he endeavored to give me many opportunities to experience many things that most do not get to in their childhood. I was able to see places like China, Jamaica, the Islands of Hawaii and many other places. He taught me to sail, something he enjoyed very much but did not do often. While I hated working on aircraft, we went out every day to eat breakfast before work, I enjoyed spending that time with my dad, well until I had to start working for the day 🙂
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