Olive Umbaugh, 1918 – 2017

A Service of Remembrance was held Monday, Feb. 6, at Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson for Olive Mildred Umbaugh, 98, of Jefferson.

The Rev Sheldon Henderson, pastor of Central Christian Church in Jefferson, offered words of comfort. Gary Haupert was soloist and Danille Curtis was accompanist. Honorary bearers were Hilary Coffman, Leslie Brittain, Katie Umbaugh, Laura Umbaugh, Lily Dignan, Robbie Culp, Judith Hillman and Jim Schleisman.

Casket bearers were Don Umbaugh, Jeremy Brittain, Bob Culp, Kevin Culp, Matt Coffman and Terry Blackburn. Interment was in the Scranton Township Cemetery in Scranton.

Olive Mildred Blackburn Umbaugh, 98, was born Dec. 10, 1918, on a farm west of Grand Junction to George S. Blackburn and Geneva (Terrill) Blackburn. She graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1937, and attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon from 1937 – 1939. Olive began her 33-year elementary teaching career at Jackson Township #2 school in 1939, where she taught for one year. Olive taught in Dana from 1940 – 1942, Bagley from 1942- 1943, and Scranton from 1943 – 1946.

Olive was married to Glen R. Umbaugh on Nov. 18, 1945, at the Grand Junction Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction. Daughter Mary Eileen Umbaugh, was born March 18, 1947, in Scranton, where Glen was barbering and Olive was teaching.  Olive continued to raise a young family while Glen was in the military, with Frank Samuel Umbaugh born in Salina, KS, on April 15, 1949. Olive and Glen then returned to Iowa, at first living on the farm south of Grand Junction, where Peter King was born on Nov. 26, 1950, and then in Plover. Glen barbered and Olive sold advertising for a little newspaper Glen also ran off of a mimeograph machine. The Umbaughs’ next move was to Cherokee for Glen’s work in another barber shop.

In August 1954, Olive, Glen and family moved to their first house on Cedar St in Jefferson,  accompanied by the birth of Glen Umbaugh II. Olive resumed her teaching career in 1956 for the Cooper school system from 1956 – 1959. In 1957, Olive and family moved to the home on Brackett St.

Olive then endured many blustery winter days on the playgrounds of the Scranton schoolhouse, teaching there from 1959 – 1964. In 1964, Olive began teaching fifth grade in Jefferson public schools. As teaching requirements were increased, Olive attended Drake University classes at night and on weekends, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in 1966. When the elementary schoolrooms were moved to Cooper, Olive and her lifelong friends made the sojourns together to Cooper again, until that building was closed in 1981.

Olive was widowed in 1973. She retired from teaching from the Jefferson public school system in 1982. Prior to, and during her retirement, Olive enjoyed traveling around the country, visiting her grown children in Georgia, Tennessee, California, or wherever her kids were living. She was also a master bridge player, and spent much of her time in retirement playing in and hosting several bridge clubs, visiting with her family members and tremendous friends in Jefferson and around the country.  Olive moved to the Vintage Hills assisted living facility in Ankeny in August, 2013. She died Feb. 3, 2017.

Preceding Olive in death were her parents George and Geneva Blackburn, husband Glen Umbaugh, brothers George T. (Bernice) Blackburn, Eugene (Edna) Blackburn, and daughter Mary Umbaugh of Hanford, CA.

Survivors include her brother Allen (Karen), of Grand Junction, IA, sons Frank (Georgia) of Mirabile, MO, Peter (Ann) of Avondale Estates, GA, and Glen (Deborah) of Alleman; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren; many loving nieces and nephews; and a host of dear lifelong friends.

The family of Olive Umbaugh would like to extend their sincere thanks to the kind and caring staffs of Vintage Hills Assisted Living in Ankeny, Mill Pond Skilled Care in Ankeny, Olive’s doctors and caregivers of Unity Point Clinics and Iowa Methodist Hospitals in Ankeny and Des Moines, and to the many friends and family who made expressions of concern and visits to Olive over the years after she moved to Ankeny.

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