Nature 10
Official Obituary of

Dr. Philip A. Orpurt

August 9, 1921 ~ February 17, 2024 (age 102) 102 Years Old

Dr. Philip Orpurt Obituary

Dr. Philip A. Orpurt, 102, North Manchester, Indiana, passed away February 17, 2024, at Timbercrest in North Manchester. The son of William Clarence and Elizabeth Glee (Nicodemus) Orpurt, Philip was born August 9, 1921, in Peru, Indiana.

During his time at Peru High School, Phil was very involved in band. He was captain of the band and student director of the pep band during his senior year, graduating in 1939. He attended Manchester College for two years before being drafted. As a conscientious objector he spent the next four years in Civilian Public Service, serving in Pennsylvania and New Jersey from 1942 to 1946. Phil returned to Manchester College, graduating in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin, obtaining a Master’s degree in Botany in 1950 and a PhD in Mycology and Ecology in 1954.

After completing his PhD program, Phil moved back to North Manchester and became a professor of Biology from 1954 to 1986 at Manchester College. He was a member of Sigma Xi; the Indiana Academy of Sciences; the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters; the Institute of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences; and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He discovered and named three new species of fungi.

Phil met his future wife, Mary Ruth Hayden, South Lee, Massachusetts, in 1944 while working at Lyons VA Hospital in New Jersey. The two fell in love and were married on December 3, 1945, in Clinton, New Jersey. During their seventy years of marriage, the couple was blessed with five children. Phil enjoyed landscaping, genealogy, donating his time to the North Manchester Tree Advisory Commission and the North Manchester Center for History, and was dedicated to lifelong learning.

The loving memory of Dr. Philip A. Orpurt will be forever cherished by his five children, Karen (Gary) Crim, Dayton, Ohio; Marcia (William) Young, Medina, Ohio; Steven (Laura) Orpurt, Chandler, Arizona; Phyllis (Timothy) Peter, Prairie City, Iowa; and Barbara (Paul) Dayton, Newburgh, Indiana; grandchildren, Marjorie (Adam) Young Kennedy, Matthew (Courtney) Young, Peter Crim, Benjamin Crim, David (Magen) Peter, Bonnie Orpurt, Aaron (Emily Tosoni) Peter, Jeffrey (Pooja) Dayton, Julia Dayton, Rachel (Nick) Guzman, Scott Dayton, and Caleb Peter; and nine great-grandchildren, Ivy Young, Kingston Kennedy, Noah Young, Vada Peter, Eden Peter, Blaise Kennedy, Lily Young, Isla Peter, and Naomi Guzman. Philip was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Orpurt; and brothers, William, Edward, and Kenneth Orpurt.

A celebration of Dr. Philip Orpurt’s life will be held Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. at the Timbercrest Chapel, 2201 East Street, North Manchester, Indiana. Pastor Karen Eberly will officiate.

For those who wish to honor the memory of Dr. Philip Orpurt, memorial contributions may be made to Timbercrest Charitable Assistance Fund, P.O. Box 501, North Manchester, Indiana 46962 or Manchester University, 604 East College Ave., North Manchester, Indiana, 46962.

The family of Dr. Philip Orpurt has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements.

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Celebration of Life
March 2, 2024

2:00 PM
Timbercrest Senior Living Chapel
2201 East Street
North Manchester, in 46962


Timbercrest Charitable Assistance Fund
P.O. Box 501, North Manchester IN 46962

Manchester University
604 East College Ave., North Manchester IN 46962


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