Dr. John OrdwayDr. Ordway

Dr. John Ordway

John A. Ordway, MD, 1920-2011, 91 years old, passed away peacefully at home on November 12, 2011 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

Dr. Ordway was born to George T. Ordway and Eliza Perkins Ordway in Bronxville, New York on January 31, 1920.

Dr. Ordway graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy 1938 and studied at Harvard University before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1942, receiving his BA War diploma in 1943 as of the Class of 1942. After serving as a Naval cryptanalyst in the Pacific Theater during World War II he received an honorable discharge as a second lieutenant and entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1947.

At Columbia Medical School, Dr. Ordway met his wife, Janet, a fellow medical student, and they were married on May 27, 1950, in West Cornwall, Connecticut during medical school, followed by internship at Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, New Hampshire. He did his residency in psychiatry at Cincinnati General Hospital and Veterans Administration Hospital where he served as Chief Resident from 1954-1955. He began private practice in psychiatry in 1955, and thereafter began studying psychoanalysis at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, receiving his certification in 1966.

Dr. Ordway was always active in the community and in public service. He was a founding Director of the Municipal Court Psychiatric Clinic and served as Director of Mental Health and Assistant Health Commissioner, City of Cincinnati.

Some of his proudest achievements included serving as the Founding President of the Queen City Foundation, and as Founding Director of the South-Central Avondale Project.

Dr. Ordway moved with his family in December 1970 to Bangor, Maine where he founded the Psychiatric Unit at Eastern Maine Medical Center, serving as Chief of Psychiatry from 1973-1980. He continued his psychiatric and psychoanalytic practices as well as public service until his retirement in 1997, before moving with his wife to Old Orchard Beach.

Dr. Ordway was a Life Fellow of the American College of Psychiatry and an active member of numerous professional associations throughout his career. He contributed chapters to books and published articles on mental health throughout his career.

Dr. Ordway is survived by his wife, Janet E. Ordway, MD; five children, John A. Ordway, Wendy G. Carr, Sarah O. McAdams, Abi M. Ordway, Susan E. Ordway; six grandchildren, Kyle Carr, Keara Carr, Nathan McAdams, Casey Carr, Julia McAdams and Hannah Galloway. He is pre-deceased by his sister, Elizabeth Ordway.

Visiting hours will be held from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, November 16th at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. An 11:00 a.m. funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Thursday, November 17th. Burial will be at a later date.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ctcrawford.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the The John A. Ordway, MD and Janet E. Ordway, MD Endowment Fund, in care of Eastern Maine Medical Center Healthcare Charities, PO Box 931, Bangor Maine 04402 or to The Ordway Fund, Phillips Exeter Academy, 20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833-2460.

Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on November 15, 2011


Remembering Dr. John Ordway

By Larry Peterson

I recently received the sad news of the passing of Dr. John Ordway, MD, a fellow NCVA member and friend. I met John purely by chance while I was on a TAD trip from NSG Headquarters to NSGA Winter Harbor in March of 1985. I flew from BWI in Baltimore to Boston, then from Boston to Bangor. As I dropped into my aisle seat for the flight to Bangor, I noticed a gentleman, who at a glance appeared to be in his late 60ís, in the middle seat and a woman I presumed to be his wife seated next to the window. I said "good afternoon" to the man as I buckled myself into my seat for takeoff. Shortly after takeoff, I pulled a yellow legal pad out of my briefcase and began writing. Not long after I started, the man next to me said "It looks to me like youíre drafting a Naval message". I admitted that I was indeed working on a Navy message and, since I wasnít in uniform, I asked how he knew that. He said he recognized the "From, To, Subject" format from his years in the Navy during WW2. The fact that I was sitting next to a Navy veteran of World War 2, and a very well spoken one at that, excited me, but that was just a prelude to the elation I was soon to feel. We introduced ourselves at that point and shook hands, and I explained that I was a Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician. Inevitably, that led to my explanation of what a CT was and the fact that I was stationed at Naval Security Group (NSG) Command Headquarters in Washington, DC. He then dropped the bomb: "I was stationed in Washington for a while during the War, and I was attached to an organization within the Navy called OP20G." †You could have knocked me over with a feather! I explained to him that OP20G was the predecessor organization of NSG and that he and I were tied together with the common bond of having been involved in the same kind of activities. He explained that he was an Ensign in Washington, but was eventually shipped out to Australia. It seems to me that he said he was at FRUMEL, but it could have been Brisbane. I think John told me that he was also stationed at another site in the Pacific, but my memory isnít clear on that either. He had no knowledge of how OP20G evolved into the NSG, because he went on to medical school after the war and became totally consumed by his profession.

John and I became fast friends during that short flight to Bangor. I told him about the NCVA and sent him a membership form after I got home from my trip. He eventually submitted his application for membership and was accepted. I corresponded with him several times over the next few years and his letters to me were always very warm and he repeatedly expressed his gratitude to me for reconnecting him with the Navy. In fact, he invited Phyllis and me to spend time with him and Janet as guests in his home, but we never took him up on the offer, although I did visit him once for an hour or two. Our correspondence waned over time then stopped entirely, mostly because Iím not much of a letter writer, but when the Executive Officer, LCDR Jim Guest, of NSGAWH invited the NCVA-NE to present a Battle of Midway program at the base in June 2001, I contacted Dr. Ordway and Fran Wyckoff of Quincy, Mass., also a WWII veteran (and an NCVA-NE member), and invited them to participate. They graciously and gratefully accepted. After I presented my part, Fran spoke about her experiences at 3801 Nebraska Avenue as an enlisted WAVE and John stood up and spoke at length about his exploits in the Pacific. It was an honor having them in attendance and a special bonus to hear John speak from first hand experience about Navy SIGINT in the Pacific War. I drove Dr. Ordway home to Bangor after the presentation.

That was over 11 years ago and the last time I ever saw or spoke to him. I tried contacting him several years ago but he was no longer listed in the Bangor phone book; I had no idea heíd moved to Old Orchard Beach. John was a true gentleman and in my eyes a legitimate hero. Iím sure others in NCVA-NE join me in bidding farewell to another member of The Greatest Generation. We all wish him FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS.


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