Cover photo for Richard Olinger's Obituary
1932 Richard Olinger 2023

Richard Olinger

June 12, 1932 — November 1, 2023

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A life of service to family, friends, community, country, and God.

Richard Andrew Olinger of Baron, Oklahoma, was born on June 12, 1932, in Park Hill, Oklahoma to Hershel and Martha Olinger and passed away on November 1, 2023, at Quail Ridge Living Center, West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, at the age of 91.

He went to school at Baron, Oklahoma, through the Fourth Grade before attending Westville Schools. After graduating in 1950 he joined the U.S. Army. He served in the Artillery, Infantry and Armored Units. Richard was a member of the Brigade Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship Team for three years before marrying Imadene Bradford on November 20, 1954, in Stilwell, Oklahoma. Later he graduated from the Army Nuclear Weapons training School at Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While serving as Senior Enlisted Instructor at the Joint Services Nuclear Weapons School he was awarded the Joint Services Commendation Medal for his work in the development of Instructional Methods and Inspection Procedures. Richard served one tour in Korea, two tours (six years) in Germany, and a tour in Vietnam where he was awarded two Bronzed Star with First Oak Leaf Cluster. He retired from the Army in 1973.

Richard received his B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Child Psychology from the University of New Mexico on May 19, 1974. While teaching for four years in Albuquerque Public School system he served as a member of the Accreditation Committee and was Teacher Representative of the Albuquerque Classrooms Teacher’s Association for his school. He attended the University of New Mexico where he attained a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration on December 8, 1977, which provided him with the New Mexico Standard Administrator’s Certificate. 

After moving back to Westville, Oklahoma, as the elementary school principal he attended Northeastern State University where he received the Oklahoma Standard Administrator’s Certificate and furthered his post-graduate work. While serving as Westville Elementary School Principal he started the local Christians Children’s Fund (CCF) with the assistance of Mrs. Ramona Fisher and established a scholarship fund for children enrolled in the CCF. Richard established the elementary school library through a grant from the State Department of Education and opened the first position of full-time librarian for the school. He enrolled in Westville Elementary in the Reading is Fundamental Program and at his retirement, more than sixteen thousand free reading books had been provided to elementary school students at Westville. Using another grant from the State Department of Education he brought the first computers to Westville Schools and established the first computer lab for the use of all students at the elementary school. The following year he helped Mr. Joe Wright in the establishment of computers at the High School.

Richard was an Oklahoma Mason since 1957. After his return to Westville, he worked with local Masons to begin providing Masonic Lodge Scholarships to graduating seniors. That program continues to this day. He continued to work with providing Masonic Lodge Award programs for the Student of the Day and Teacher of the Year. He was selected District Deputy Grand Master for 1994 and 1995. He served on the Oklahoma Grand Lodge Public Schools Committee and the Oklahoma Grand Lodge Publications Committee. On November 9, 2018, at the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma in Guthrie, Richard was awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor for Outstanding and Meritorious Service to Oklahoma Masonry.

Richard did extensive work as a Board Member and Chairman of the Adair County Rural Water District No, 3 in building and maintaining a water line for a safe and constant source of water for the Baron, Peavine, England Hollow, Fairfield, Piney and the area East of Westville.

He became a board member and Chairman of the Mid County Fire Department Board of Directors in early 2000 and served until early 2022 when he reluctantly resigned due to health issues. Richard was instrumental in leading the Board of Directors and did all he could to ensure the safety of the firefighters by supporting and approving the purchase of necessary safety equipment. He helped acquire Mid County Rescue 21 Fire Truck, which the department still runs on most calls. Richard was a great supporter of the Mid County Community Organization and the construction of the present-day community building. He and Imadene were at nearly all fundraisers for the construction of the building. A flag, donated by Richard, is proudly displayed in the community building. This flag was flown over the U.S. capitol in Richard’s honor.

Richard and Imadene raised Limousine cattle for several years before he became a beekeeper in Baron, Oklahoma. He was an avid reader and enjoyed fishing and camping. Richard was a humble man, never boasting about the numerous achievements he accomplished throughout his life. A devoted husband, an amazing dad and grandpa, and much loved by many caring relatives and dear friends, his memory will be forever in our hearts.

Richard was preceded in death by his beloved wife Imadene. He is survived by his brother Tom Olinger and wife Judy of Tontitown, Arkansas, brother Larry Olinger of Oro Valley, Arizona, son Richard (Rick) Olinger and wife Debbie of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, daughter Karen Olinger of Claremore, Oklahoma, son James (Jim) Olinger and wife Missy of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, grandson Eric Olinger of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, step-granddaughter Brandi Trollinger and husband Josh and kids, Jaden, Brayden, Talia, Moriah, and Myles of Centerton, Arkansas.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Olinger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Roberts & Hart Funeral Home

1428 Williams Ave, Westville, OK 74965

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Funeral Service

Thursday, November 16, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Roberts & Hart Funeral Home

1428 Williams Ave, Westville, OK 74965

Livestream

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Burial

Thursday, November 16, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Downing Cemetery

OK

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