Orpha Romohr Baxter

January 22, 2019

CHARLOTTE - Orpha Romohr Baxter, 101, of Charlotte, NC died January 22, 2019.  She was born July 15, 1917 in Morrow, OH, the first daughter of Philip Romohr and Zola Upton Romohr.

Orpha attended Transylvania University in Lexington, KY where she met her future husband of 72 years William Carlos Baxter, a student at the University of Kentucky.  They were married in Loveland OH on Christmas Day, 1938.   When Carl was transferred to Charlotte by his employer in 1947 they decided that Charlotte was the perfect place to live and rear their daughter Karen.

Orpha was a charter member of Covenant Presbyterian Church and an active member of the Couples Class.  She was also an active member of Charity League, the League of Women Voters, Republican Women and an enthusiastic supporter of Girl Scouts and Camp Occoneechee, the Hornets’ Nest Council’s former camp at Lake Lure.  She also served in many capacities in every school PTA that their daughter attended. 

In the fall of 1958 Orpha became the much beloved “mother” of Heidegret Koester (Hilse), an AFS exchange student from Germany.  Heide lived with the Baxter family during her senior year at East Mecklenburg High School, remaining close to her “American mother” by visiting often through the years.  Through continuing involvement with exchange students, Orpha held dear to her heart Birte Helene Hagen (Wiseth) of Norway and Brigitta (Bibi) Blauw (van Vliet) of The Netherlands.  Most recently, Orpha counted as family her dedicated companion at Sharon Towers, Trina Winston.

Orpha is survived by her daughter Karen Baxter Harriss and husband Herbert Lynch Harriss; grandchildren Elise Harriss Wallace and husband Robert Christopher Wallace; Andrew Baxter Harriss (Drew) and wife Sarah Henderson Harriss and four great-grandchildren:  Kayla Elizabeth Wallace, Andrew James Wallace, Everett James Harriss and Alexander Johnston Harriss.  She was preceded in death by her husband Carl and her sister Jane Romohr Coffman.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, January 28, 2019 at Covenant Presbyterian Church.  The family will receive friends follow the service.  Burial will be private for the family at Sharon Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 East Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28204 or to Sharon Towers, 5100 Sharon Rd., Charlotte, NC 28210 or the charity of one’s choosing.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.



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  • Sue Coffman

    I have many find memories of Aunt Orpha she was a great person. I enjoyed visiting her and Uncle Carl at the lake house. The very first time I visited she was a great cook. She will be missed by everyone.