Ray Orrock, whose quirky weekday columns have entertained East Bay readers since 1971, has retired from ANG Newspapers and says he plans to spend more time with Marlene, his wife of 54 years, his five children, eight grandchldren and favorite author, Mark Twain. Orrock turns 78 on on Jan. 8. ANG Reporter Karen Holzmeister wrote this story about a columnist who found plenty to write about though he never touched the subjects of religion or politics. Here are some of Orrock’s recent columns. And, since Orrock loved trivia, here’s a trivia column about him written by ANG reporter Don Buchholz. At left is a photo from the 1970s of Orrock and at right is a recent photo by ANG’s Anda Chu.

SF Press Club News


  1. There are people in our lives who have passed that seem especially difficult to let go of or whom create a lasting sense of regret at their absence. I feel this way about Ray Orrock. His passing and the loss of such a great man as well as the comfort of opening the newspaper to his column, is a loss that just seems to linger. There wasn't anyone to compare to him while he was alive, and there is nobody that lives up to the brilliance he delivered since his passing…probably never will be. There was something unique about the man, a dimension of unsurpassed wit and graciousness that just translated to a feel good moment whenever we read his column. The world desperately needs people like that. Ray gave us hope every day that the world was good and beautiful….how I miss him.

  2. I always wondered why this man was kept on the local level, you are indeed accurate when you say that he deserved national attention. I can’t think of another writer who I would hold in greater esteem than Ray Orrock. The man was a national treasure, we just forgot to tell him. I am so sorry to hear of his passing, a tremendous loss to us all. My heart and warm regards go out to his family.

  3. What a beautiful man. He’s simply the best there ever was or ever will be. I agree…he should be nationally recognized.

  4. He was one of my favorite columnists. Today, a year later after he retired, I am looking for an article but too bad, his article isn’t available online. Wish he knew that I liked his witty writing style. He made me laugh a lot those years while I was in Oakland.

  5. There will never be a columnist who got parents and children alike to sit down, laugh and discuss his musings the way Ray Orrock did.

    He should be nationally-known and cherished. He’s a national treasure in our family.

    Any chance there’s a “Best of Orrock II” in the works? My Best of Orrock is so dog-eared it’s pathetic. And, I have to write down who I lend it to so I can be sure to get it back.

    We love you, Mr. O! Thanks for all the years you brought our family together in laughter.

  6. I would LOVE to get a copy of the “Louis Giusto Pie” recipe – April 2, 2000 Tribune ran the column “It’s my party, I’ll hide the cake if I want to” – so funny! Anybody have that recipe? Ray – are you listening? jwbrenda@aol.com

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