Obituary Listings

Stephen Jude Ortlip

August 13, 1920 August 26, 2018
Stephen Jude Ortlip
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Obituary for Stephen Jude Ortlip

Stephen Jude Ortlip

Organist, Choir Director, Composer


Stephen Jude Ortlip, talented organist, conductor, and composer, was welcomed by a heavenly host of singing angels on 8/26/2018 after leaving his earthly home of 98 years from natural causes in the presence of Doris, his wife of 72 years, and family. Steve was truly a servant of the living God who walked humbly and treated people kindly. He influenced countless lives through music.

Stephen J. Ortlip was born in Englewood, New Jersey, to the late Henry Willard Ortlip and Aimee Eschner, both of whom were well-known artists. He grew up playing on the banks of the Hudson River with his six siblings, who predeceased him. He served his country in the US Navy in World War II and upon returning from the war he married the love of his life, Doris Armstrong Ortlip , on January 22, 1946. He was an active member of the Rotary International since 1962.

Stephen held a B.S. degree from Houghton College, NY, a Masters degree in Music Education from Catholic University, Washington, DC, and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Union Theological Seminary, NJ. He graduated from Guilman Organ School NJ and earned an Associate degree as a member of the American Guild of Organists.

He served as organist and choirmaster at Westside Presbyterian Church in Englewood , NJ (1948-1951), organist and choirmaster at First Congregational Church in Wakefield, Mass (1951-1955), organist and choirmaster at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church (1955-1970), and organist and choirmaster at Decatur Presbyterian Church (1970-1988).

He directed the Baylor School Glee Club, Chattanooga, TN (1958-1960), the Chattanooga Concert Choir (1964-1970), the Chattanooga Boy Choir ( 1957-1975), and was founder/director of the Young Singers of Callanwolde (now the Atlanta Young Singers) (1975-1997).The concept of a coeducational children's choir which was community based was almost unheard of at the time of the inception of the Young Singers of Callanwolde.

His musical accomplishments are too numerous to list. He composed and arranged many sacred and secular pieces of music and authored publications for training young voices. He won many awards, national and international, for composing and directing.

He was the winning choir /conductor with the Young Singers of Callanwolde at the International Chorfest in The Hague, Holland (1979), was selected twice to direct the choir for the National Tree Lighting with the Presidents in Washington, DC, and was commissioned and performed major works with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony. Under the direction of the beloved "Mr. O", the Young Singers performed twelve consecutive years with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympics and at numerous events sponsored by nationaly recognized

Stephen is survived by his wife of 72 years, Doris Armstrong Ortlip, three children, Stephanie Ortlip Beasley (Ernest) of Atlanta, Pamela Ortlip Tiemeyer (Keith) of Danville, KY, Benjamin Baxter Ortlip (Lisa) of Alpharetta , GA, fourteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A memorial service to celebrate Stephen's life will be held Saturday, September 15th, 2018 at 11:00 am at Decatur Presbyterian Church with a reception immediately following in the church parlor.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Atlanta Young Singers or Decatur Presbyterian Church

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Stephen Jude Ortlip, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




11:00 AM 9/15/2018 11:00:00 AM
Decatur Presbyterian Church

205 Sycamore Street.
Decatur, GA 30030

Decatur Presbyterian Church
205 Sycamore Street. Decatur 30030 GA
United States

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