Rory Jones served with Janet F. Orndorff on the Boise School Board for more than two decades.
"She was a very hard worker and put a lot of energy into the board," said Jones, who retired from the board in December after 26 years.
Orndorff died Thursday at home from breast cancer. She was 68.
"The Boise School District and our entire community has lost a wonderful friend and advocate for children and public schools," Boise Education Association President Andrew Rath said in an email to union members.
He noted that her three children attended Boise schools, and now her grandchildren attend, as well.
"I will fondly remember her warmth, her love of our schools and students, and her tireless dedication to improving our lives through her work as a member of the School Board."
Orndorff and her husband, Owen, moved to Boise in 1974. She taught school from 1975 to 1979, then volunteered at Highlands Elementary in classrooms, on fundraisers and at the school carnival. Her service also included chairing the North Junior High 50th anniversary celebration.
That broadened to co-coordinating the successful 1988 school-bond campaign.
Orndorff was instrumental in helping the district preserve the 1879 Bown House in Southeast Boise and implementing its heritage education programs.
As a former teacher, Orndorff was respected in schools and liked by district employees, Jones said.
Not only did Jones lose a longtime co-worker, he said, he lost a good friend.
"She was just a very thoughtful person. And fun. We laughed a lot."
Her husband of 44 years, Owen Orndorff, survives. She also is survived by their three children, Lori, Ben and Will, and nine grandchildren, including a newborn granddaughter, Josephine Janet.
See her obituary in today's paper, L4.
Cynthia Sewell: 377-6428, Twitter: @CynthiaSewell