Ura Claire Oliver passed from this life April 10, 2014, in Norman, Okla., with her daughter, son-in-law, son and grandson by her side. Claire died of heart failure. She was 93. Claire was born Jan. 13, 1921, in Iola, where she attended Iola Junior College from 1939 to 1941. When our country was drawn into WWII, many women worked jobs as telephone operators. Few women worked as telephone operators from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and carried 18 credits hours at a major university. Accordingly, Claire Oliver earned her bachelor of arts degree in bacteriology from the University of Kansas in 1943.
During her junior year at KU, she gained permission from her professors to take three weeks off to marry her hometown sweetheart, Bill Oliver, also of Iola, who was a Navy pilot stationed in Oakland, Calif. They were married March 23, 1942, in Reno, Nev., and Mrs. Oliver stayed with her husband for another two weeks until he left for his tour in the South Pacific.
Claire received a telegram from LCDR Bill Oliver as she walked toward the stadium to receive her diploma in May 1943 saying he was back in the states. Bill and Claire then traveled to Putaxent River Maryland Naval Base where Bill was a test pilot and Claire worked in the dispensary.
In December 1945, Claire, Bill and their newborn daughter, moved to Miami, Okla., where Bill started a business and Claire stayed at home to raise their daughter and their son who was born in Miami. While her children were in grade school, Claire started playing golf and recruited the entire family to participate in the sport. Unfortunately for her family, Claire somehow always ended up with the lowest score.
When her children were older, Claire started her teaching journey with trips to Pittsburg Kansas State College where she received her teaching certificate. Shortly after beginning her teaching career, Claire received prestigious summer study grants from the National Science Foundation at San Jose State University and Southern Methodist University. Back in Miami, Claire once again found the energy to work while studying, this time her studying matched her work. Claire would rise early in the morning to study before heading off to school to teach. She completed her master’s degree in biology in 1963.
Mrs. Oliver gave back to her profession by being president of the Miami Association of Classroom Teachers. Her former students can be found today teaching in the high school classroom with another student being a Ph.D. professor doing research for Alzheimer’s disease. When Claire saw one of her former students, they often said to her, “You were the best teacher I had.”
After her retirement, Claire and Bill continued to play golf and travel. Claire was an active member of the Ottawa County Retired Educators Association and continued to play a role in her church and her P.E.O. Chapter.
Claire is survived by her daughter, Diana Carter and husband John Carter, Norman, Okla.; her granddaughter, Deborah Fung and husband Archon, Boston, Mass.; her grandson, Steven Smith, Dallas, Texas; her son, Bill Oliver and his wife Genet D’Arcy, Boulder, Colo.; her granddaughter, Jennifer Liming and husband Duane, Asheville, N.C.; her grandson, Billy Oliver, Salt Lake City, Utah; her great-grandchildren, Alexander Fung, Zachary Fung, Boston, Mass., and Morgan Smith, Madison Smith, and Mason Smith, Dallas, Texas.
Claire’s funeral was in Miami, Okla., on Monday at the First Christian Church with graveside services at the GAR cemetery in Miami. Memorials may be sent to the Martin Class, c/o First Christian Church, 2424 N. Main St., Miami, OK 74354.
Dennis Wayne “Yogi” Yocham, 50, Fayetteville, Ark., died Nov. 26, 2014, at his home.He was born Dec. 13, 1963, in Iola, the third of four sons to Fred and Verna Barnes Yocham.When his mother passed away on Sept. 14, 1967, his maternal grandmother, Alice Barnes, took... [More]
R. Harold Rice, 90, Iola, died Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at Allen County Regional Hospital.Robert Harold Rice was born Nov. 11, 1924, in Wichita Falls, Texas, the son of Dr. Reuben and Jimmie Ethel (Myers) Rice. He graduated from Talala High School in Oklahoma and spent most of... [More]
Betty Jean Heppler, 70, Wichita, retired cashier supervisor for St. Joseph Hospital, passed away on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Mary (Kipp) Heiman; her loving husband, Richard J. Heppler Jr.; son, Richard J. Heppler III; brothers,... [More]
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church will dedicate its new dining hall and expanded kitchen area Saturday evening. The event is by invitation, and will be followed by a public grand opening on Jan. 21.For 10 years the church has served community meals once a month. Long ago facilities... [More]
The Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Allen and Neosho County is relaunching.“We have a new working model in the state and new practices in the program,” area director Rhonda Dewitt said. “We have new staff in place and are trying to better promote... [More]
Cooper Studios Dance Center dancers will bring the magic of “The Nutcracker,” to Iola once again this holiday season. This year the company will have a special guest dancer.Alec Roth, a professional dancer from Milwaukee, Wis., will perform multiple scenes with the... [More]
Brock Artis will run his way back to Oklahoma. The Tulsa native spent the past two seasons running for Allen Community College’s cross country program and has signed a letter of intent to run for Oklahoma City University.The NAIA school boasts an enrollment of 3,770 students... [More]
PLEASANTON — Crest High secured a 55-26 win on the road against Pleasanton Tuesday.Thanks to a huge second-quarter scoring outburst, the Lancers eased to victory. Crest outscored Pleasanton 32-5 in the quarter. “Offensively, we weren’t great. But, we are getting... [More]
- SCC girl’s basketball takes sixth at Yates Center tourney
- Cubs win home tournament
- SCC boys fall late; Yates Center wins big
- Fillies storm back to knock off Girard
- Ponies struggle on the road
- SCC football season ends with playoff loss
- Iola cross country heads to regional
- GARNETT — Kohl Endicott did what he does best Thursday night — outrun everyone. Endicott helped lead Iola High’s varsity boys cross country team to a first place finish at the Pioneer League Cross Country Meet. The varsity girls took second pl