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Harvey Eugene Olinger

| January 23, 2019

Harvey Eugene Olinger, age 96, of Fresno, Ohio, peacefully passed at his home on Monday, January 7, 2019.

Harvey was born March 25, 1922 on the family farm near Chili, Ohio, the second of nine children of Russell B. and Iva M. (Kleinknecht) Olinger. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by brothers, Clifford (Doris), Frank (Hazel), and Roger (Margaret) Olinger and sisters, Lucille (John) Miller, Peggy (John) McCrea, and Emma (Jim) McCrea.  As a child, he completed 8th grade and quit school his freshman year at Fresno in order to help with the family farm. He and his father butchered hogs and peddled the pork in Coshocton in order for the family to endure the Great Depression.  In 1942, he entered the Army and served during World War II. He spoke very little of the war but always with a tearful eye would tell how thrilled he was when on Christmas day in 1945 that he was told that he would be returning home. August 16, 1952 brought Harvey his wife, Reva Jane, daughter of the late William H. and Gertrude (Shaw) McKee of Keene. In 1956, an opportunity arose to return to his roots. Harvey farmed nearly 1,000 acres, milked dairy and raised beef and pork in partnership with his brother Cliff for 18 years at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed. These brothers were some of the first in the country to plant no-till corn. Although farming was his passion, he retired from General Electric in 1984 after 37 years of service. He loved to reminisce about his experiences and lifelong friendships from GE. He introduced many nieces and nephews, along with their children, to the world of farming. His love of animals was always apparent via his trips to the local auction. He would bring home ponies, riding horses, mules, a pair of peacocks, and even a retired circus donkey. Most beloved were his team of Belgium Draft Horses, Pete and Tom. In his spare time, he enjoyed hunting and always took a yearly fishing trip (or two) to Canada. He loved making road trips to follow his son’s high school basketball career and travelling through the east following the University of Pittsburgh. Harvey was a lifelong member of the DAV and the VFW. In his final retirement from the farm, he relished taking care of a large garden and mowing his lawn. He also enjoyed driving tractor for his special neighbors, Vernon and Diann Mizer. At the age of 80, he was blessed with his first grandchild, Madison Mae, and two years later a grandson, Austin James. Harvey is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 66 years, Reva (McKee), who tirelessly cared for him throughout the many years of his declining health, his daughter, Gail (Tim) Unger of Fresno, sons, Bill of Palm Springs, California, and Dave of Avon Lake, Ohio, and brothers, Larry (Marge) of Fresno, and Darrell (Stephanie) Olinger of Worthington.

Calling hours were held at Given-Dawson-Paisley Funeral Home on Saturday, January 12, 2019 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The funeral services began at the funeral home on Saturday at 1:00 pm with Pastor Chris Cutshall officiating. Burial followed at Coshocton County Memory Gardens with the Coshocton County Veterans Council performing military services.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Harvey’s name to Community Hospice of Coshocton 230 S. 4th St. Coshocton, OH 43812 or to Fresno Bible Church 24629 OH 93, Fresno, OH 43824.

An online memorial can be viewed at www.given-dawson-pailseyfh.com.

Category: Obituaries

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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