Iowans gathered to bid farewell to an Iowa icon Thursday. Johnny Orr passed away this week at the age of 86.
Since the doors opened at the Hilton Coliseum at 1 p.m. a steady stream of people filed in to pay their respects to the coaching legend, remembering the type of person and coach he was.
“He was very colorful, very exciting and he always respected everybody,” Wayne Ostendorf said.
The memorial was a simple tribute to Johnny Orr.
Outside Johnny’s where coach Orr’s bronze statue stands is a memorial to the coach. Dozens of flowers were lining the tables surrounding the statue and the hallway.
Visitors could sign a guest book and walk around the outside of Johnny’s where Coach Orr memorabilia has been preserved behind display cases.
Those who knew the legendary coach say they stopped by to celebrate the life of Iowa State’s winningest coach. Fans added, although they’re sad about his passing, it’s a time to reflect on the good times.
“Between the laughter and the tears you go back and forth because yeah you’re sad but you also think about Johnny and you start smiling, you start laughing because you think about something that he said or something that he did, so you want to celebrate his life and that’s the way Johnny would have wanted it,” Larry Cotlar said.
The visitation is open to the public until 8 p.m. Thursday evening.
The family will be holding a private family service at a later date.