We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Osterhoudt - Madden Funeral Home
Ethel Jean (Olin) Oliver
May 6, 1931 – May 15, 2022 (age 91)
Ethel Jean “Effie” Oliver, 91, died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at Mercy House in Endicott, NY. Born in Waverly, PA on May 6, 1931, Ethel was the fifth of George and Leona (Ruland) Olin’s eight children. Her earliest years were spent in Tioga Center, NY and Thompson, PA. When she was in the first grade, the Olins moved to Doraville, NY, where she attended the one-room school house that has since been moved to Harpursville, NY and restored as a museum. She graduated from Harpursville Central School in 1948 as salutatorian and from New York State Agricultural and Technical Institute at Delhi, NY in 1950 with an associate degree in food service. In 1952, she married Edward F. Oliver. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Edward, cherished son Charles, parents George and Leona, brothers Warren, Donald, and David Olin, sister Vera Olin Throop, father- and mother-in-law Frank and Helen (Palmer) Oliver, and several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. She is survived by daughters Barbara Oliver (James Fitzmorris), Susan Oliver, Cynthia Sodeur (Kevin), and Patricia Sasso (Errol); son Robert Oliver (Maya); daughter-in-law Janet Oliver; grandchildren Christopher Gonzalez (Kathryn Bossi), Kasey Oliver (Jonathon Dwyer), Corinne Ellish (Matthew), Lindsay Landers, Jillian Labbe (Keith), Timothy Oliver, DeAnna Ronsheim (Peter), Julia Mitchell (Daniel), Laura Takada, Anna Takada, Alexandria Sasso, Benjamin Sasso, Dylan Oliver, and Jordyn Oliver; great grandchildren Jack, Nathan, Lily, Naomi, Evelyn, Amelia, David, Maddox, Ryker, Keller, Phoebe, Kian and Rai; brother Glen Olin; sisters Joyce Powell and Marie Meredith (Forrest); sisters-in-law Joyce Kearney, Nancy Tuzes, Judith Burrows, Mary Ann Oliver, Mary Elizabeth Oliver, and Shirley Olin; many treasured nieces and nephews and their families; and many dear friends. Ethel lived almost her entire life on East Windsor Road—as a child, in Doraville within walking distance of the church and school, and as an adult, down the road a bit where she and Ed built first a dairy farming business and later a chain saw sales and repair business. As a partner in the family enterprises, she never hesitated to roll up her sleeves and do what was needed to make them a success, whether it was rising at 4 AM every day to milk 100 cows before breakfast, take care of sick calves, stock parts in the shop at night after dinner, keep the books, or serve as a sensible sounding board for her husband’s big ideas. She also worked hard as a mother and community volunteer. Her six children were her pride and joy. She dearly loved all her children all her life, for “those we love can never be more than a thought apart.” She and all the other moms on East Windsor Road, including Maggie Lyons, Betty Springsteen, Eleanor Johnson, and Audrey Livermore (all of whom remained close friends until they predeceased her, one by one, over the years) worked together to make sure the kids had meaningful Sunday School and 4H experiences to enrich their early years. Ethel’s political career started when she volunteered as a Town of Colesville committee woman for the Republican party, going door to door to collect signatures on nominating petitions. Then came the election when she was collecting signatures from friends and neighbors to nominate herself to run for Clerk of the Town of Colesville. She won her first election and all subsequent elections, serving as Town Clerk for eighteen years, followed by service on the Town board for twelve years. She saw public service as both a calling and an honor, and never took for granted the trust that her fellow citizens placed in her. She felt she had to earn it day by day, year by year. She was committed to voting in ways she considered sensible and finding creative solutions to any thorny issues. The community could count on her to go the extra mile, whether issuing a late-night marriage license to a couple who wanted to be married quickly thanks to a last-minute transfer to China or working with people to get their taxes paid.
Ethel treasured time with her family. Holiday gatherings and parties typically featured her baked goods—especially her delicious pies and creative cakes. She welcomed all into the family fold and made new boyfriends and girlfriends and in-laws and parents of in-laws and her children’s and grandchildren’s friends. All became family. Church and faith were central to Ethel’s life and strength. Her entire adult life was spent attending and serving the Doraville Methodist Church and later, the Harpursville United Methodist Church. Both her acuity in financial management and her pies found their way to the Harpursville church over many years. She never said no to the church. She always hoped others would find the strength that she got from her faith in God, but she respected each person’s choice and understanding of God. So many of her dear friends in the church made her last days more bearable with your calls, notes, visits, flowers, and gifts, which were so deeply appreciated. The family is grateful for the kind and loving help given so warmly by caregivers Judy Hawley and Janna Rincavage, plus the staff at Mercy House. The family also thanks special friends who helped so much over the past couple of years, including Don Sherwood, Dave Brown, Vivian Pier, Jim Hawley, and Jeffrey Oliver, but so many others as well.
A Celebration of Her Life will be held at the Harpursville United Methodist Church on Friday at 11 a.m. Pastor Sue Crawson Brizzolara will officiate. Burial will be in Riverview Cemetery, Harpursville at the convenience of the family. The family will receive friends at the Osterhoudt-Madden Funeral Home 69-71 Maple Street Harpursville on Thurs. from 5 to 7 p.m. Online condolences may be made at: www.omaddenfh.com. Ethel’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Harpursville United Methodist Church in Harpursville, NY or to Mercy House in Endicott, NY. Ethel herself made this request: “If you wish to honor my life, please do it by giving of yourself in some way. Share words of encouragement. Brighten someone’s day…”
Ethel Oliver’s long, productive life was well-lived. Rest in peace, Mom and Grandma and Great Grandma. Memories of you will brighten our days forever.