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.
Elizabeth Ann (Betty) Friskel, age 85, passed away April 14, 2018, at her home in Iola. Betty was born May 17, 1932, in Pittsburg, to Martin Lero and Mary Beitzinger Lero. She grew up in the Pittsburg-Frontenac area, where she attended and graduated from Saint Mary’s School... [More]
Neva Kathleen Baker, age 100, formerly of Iola, died Jan. 19, 2018 at Wheat State Manor, Whitewater. A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Monday at Blue Mound Federated Church, Blue Mound. Visitation will be at 2 p.m. until the service time at the church. The family suggests... [More]
Ina Jeanne Dody, 83, of Le Roy, died Thursday, April 12, 2018, at Yates Center Health and Rehab. No funeral services are planned. There will be a gathering at a later date to celebrate her life. Burial will be in Le Roy Cemetery. Van Arsdale Funeral Home in Le Roy is in charge... [More]
Kendall Dee Call, 87, of Iola, passed away on Thursday, April 12, 2018. He was born to Clifford E. and Emma L. (Hackett) Call on April 7, 1931, at the family home in Mildred. He had seven siblings; Beverly, Marilyn, Curtice, Merlyn, Jerry, Lawrence, and baby Joyce. Kendall graduated... [More]
FORT WORTH — Helen Papusch, 93, a longtime children’s Sunday School teacher, went to be with Jesus Thursday, April 5, 2018. Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth. Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Friday at Greenwood... [More]
Joseph L. Shrum, age 60, of Iola, died at his home on March 17, 2018. He worked as a custodian for the Iola schools for 38 years. A memorial service will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the First Assembly of God Church, 1020 Carpenter St., Iola. Private inurnment... [More]
Ashley Dixon didn’t see a lot of community activism as she grew up in Parsons. But while she attended colleges in New York and Nashville, Dixon involved herself in numerous causes: Diversity training, workers’ rights, immigration and anti-racism efforts. Now, as... [More]
Katie Bauer, a senior at Iola High School, took “Best of Show” honors for her drawing, “Casual Elegance,” at the 31st annual High School Art Competition Friday, April 13, at Labette Community College. Bauer used colored pencil, pen and charcoal for this... [More]
The Allen County Democratic Party will host a public forum featuring six of the eight Democratic candidates for Kansas governor. The event kicks off Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the John Silas Bass North Community Hall at 505 N. Buckeye St. However, the public is invited for free, pre-event... [More]
LAHARPE — A search for illegal drugs in LaHarpe City Hall and elsewhere in town came up empty, although dogs “hit” on the smell that led officers to believe drugs may have been present at some point. The search was ordered Thursday afternoon at the request of... [More]
Local senior citizens will learn about topics from health and finances to tourism and romance at the “Aging With Attitude” regional expo Friday, April 27. The event, which returns to Iola for the second year, targets senior citizens but others who want to learn more... [More]
A shrinking library budget for USD 257 caught the eye of Iola Parent Teacher Organization members. The budget for the district’s elementary schools went from $9,464 last year to $3,200 in 2017-18, noted Holly Jerome, a PTO member. “There were multiple books, supplies... [More]
MILDRED — The Allen County Historical Society spring meeting will take attendees to the Mildred Store Saturday. Owners Regena and Loren Lance will discuss Mildred’s history, its impact on Allen County and the surrounding area. Several photos and other historic artifacts... [More]
— Humboldt Middle School track competed in Yates Center Tuesday. Five Cubs walked away with first place finishes including seventh-graders Carsyn Haviland in the 75-meter hurdles (14.56) and eighth- graders Kirstyn Murrow in the 3200 (15:26), Laken Hunter in the shot... [More]
The Iola Middle School track and field team competed at a quad meet in Garnett Tuesday versus Wellsville, Central Heights and Anderson County. The Iola seventh-grade girls finished seventh while the eighth-grade girls and the seventh- and eighth-grade boys finished third. For... [More]
Last season — even at their most successful — the Iola baseball team struggled to score runs. The pitching was always there but if the Mustangs had to make up for more than a couple of runs, Iola players, coaches and fans got pretty nervous. The 2018 Mustangs do not... [More]
The Iola softball team progressed in some areas Tuesday night while being swept at Osawatomie. The Fillies hit the ball better and played one decently clean game defensively but still made far too many errors losing game one 11-6 and game two 21-6. Iola drops to 1-7 and 1-3... [More]
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