Barbara Schnelle Orton, active in community

February 10, 2019

Mrs. Barbara Schnelle Orton, 89, of Lewes passed away peacefully Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at her home in Lewes surrounded by her family.

Barbara was born Jan. 2, 1930, in Needham, Mass., to Dr. Gerry and Helene Schnelle. She was 22 years old when she met her one true love on a blind date in New York City. Soon after their date, she married James Richard Orton and relocated to Lewes. The two started a family and resided in Lewes where they raised their five children on Sussex Drive. 

Barbara was a stay-at-home mom of five. She enjoyed soaking up the rays on the beach, reading, playing bridge, and attending her children’s sporting events.  She was their biggest fan and was known for providing the team with cookies after all the games. She and James Richard were also popular for their tailgating parties at the University of Delaware during football games on Saturdays. She never missed a social gathering and could be seen walking the streets around Lewes daily with her four-legged companion. She was a supporter of Lewes Little League, participated in the Lewes Lions Club, played in local bridge groups weekly, and enjoyed lunches with her friends. Her heart extended beyond the family as she was a volunteer for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and sang in the church choir at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Capt. James Richard Orton. She is survived by her brother, Robert Schnelle of Winston Salem, N.C.; five children, J. Richard Orton Jr. and his wife Linda of West Chester, Pa., Tina Smokovich of Georgetown, Gerry Herbert Orton of Rehoboth Beach, Tammy Campbell and her husband Mike of Newtown, Pa., and Rob Orton and his wife Dana of Lewes; nine grandchildren-Patrick (Brittany), Ryan, Brendan, Justin, Lindsay, Connor (Christie), Kyle, Toby, Heather (Ryan); and four great-grandchildren, Paige, Savannah, Liam and Kendal.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to Barbara’s Visiting Angels, Anna and Martika, the staff at Beebe Healthcare, and the nurses from Delaware Hospice.

A Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 11 a.m., at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes, where friends may call beginning at 9 a.m. Burial will immediately follow services at St. Peter's Cemetery, Pilottown Road, Lewes.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Barbara's name to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963, or to Lewes Lions Club, PO Box 791, Lewes, DE 19958.

Please visit Mrs. Orton's Life Memorial Webpage and sign her online guestbook at