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Ed Orlett

Ed Orlett

Columbus-Edward J. “Ed” Orlett, former Ohio Legislator, passed away Thursday, August 22, 2019. Elected to seven terms in the Ohio House of Representatives from Montgomery County, he also served one term as Clerk of Court in Dayton, Ohio, as well as one term as a Trotwood, Ohio City Council member. A graduate of Wheelersburg, Ohio High School, he earned a BME Degree from Kettering University, (fka GMI), in Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton. He served in the U.S. Army Combat Engineers in Europe as a cryptographer/communications specialist and was a Life Member of the VFW and had been a member of the American Legion for over 40 years. His political activities included 20 years as a member of the Executive Committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, 8 years as an elected member of the Ohio Democratic Party’s State Executive Committee. He also served on various boards and committees of other civic organizations and was a member of the Thursday Noon Luncheon Club, The NAACP and the ACLU. As a legislator, he was the lead sponsor on 36 separate laws, most of which benefited and reflected his interest in working people and the poor. He sponsored the first legislative study of hunger in Ohio. He was one of very few members of the House of Representatives to serve on the Rules Committee, the Finance Committee and the State Controlling Board at the same time. He served for 13 years as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and was also the first non-attorney to chair the House Civil and Commercial Law Committee. The Ohio Bar Association, the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Dayton Bar Association recognized him for the many contributions he made as a legislator. He was also instrumental in securing state funds to found the Wright State University School of Medicine, the Miami Valley Research Park and a major expansion of Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. He left the legislature in 1986 after being elected Dayton Municipal clerk of Court. He also served as an advisor to Ohio’s urban anti-poverty agencies and their Head Start programs. He managed the Ohio Society for Respiratory Care for 26 years, represented the National Drug Alliance in Ohio and other organizations through his Ohio State Governmental Relations firm. Ed was honored by the Minority Business Community of Ohio, The Cleveland Association of Minority Business Inc. and the Columbus Thursday Noon Luncheon Club for his Ohio Minority Business Enterprise Act, H.B. 584, which established a program of bonding, insurance and set asides for qualified Ohio minority businesses. He later also served as a member of the Montgomery County Board of Elections for a number of years. He developed real estate in Florida and Ohio through his Orlett Realty & Investments firm. He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Mary Edith Orlett, 2 brothers, Bernard and William Orlett and an Uncle & Aunt, Herbert and Mildred Miller. He is survived by 2 foster sons, Edward L. Furlow of Middletown, Ohio and Kimble Waller of Dayton, Ohio, a cousin and dear friend Kathy Conway of Ironton, Ohio, good friends, Evangeline Miller and her family of Watertown, MA; friend and business associate, Tina Rice of Columbus, Ohio, friend, employee and caregiver Miguel J. Wright of Columbus, Ohio.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Noon, Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at St. Peter in Chains Catholic Church in Wheelersburg, Ohio with Fr. Christopher Tuttle officiating. Inurnment will follow in St. Peter Cemetery. Contributions may be made in his remembrance to Friends of the Homeless in Columbus, Ohio or the House of Bread in Dayton, Ohio which he helped establish many years ago. Local arrangements have been entrusted to Harrison-Pyles Funeral Home in Wheelersburg, Ohio. Condolences may be made at www.harrison-pyles.com.



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