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.
Phyllis Ann Bass, 87, Leavenworth, died, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She was born Nov. 5, 1929, in Iola, the daughter of Vernon Henry and Gladys Lillian (Williams) Garner. On Feb. 26, 1950, Phyllis married Wendell M. Bass Sr. He preceded... [More]
Roy Francis (Hoss) Barnett, 74, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, at Neosho Regional Memorial Hospital in Chanute. He was born on March 7, 1943 at St. John’s Hospital, the son of Francis and Minnie Barnett. He was graduated from Humboldt High School in... [More]
Phyllis Ann Bass, 87, Leavenworth, died, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home in Leavenworth. A funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, at Bethel AME Church. Burial... [More]
Franque Marcene Meliza, 78, Garnett, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, at Richmond Healthcare and Rehab in Richmond. She was born on June 29, 1939, in Ottawa, the daughter of Charles Cyrus and Helen L. (Barber) Chilcote. She was a graduate of Iola High School, Iola Junior... [More]
Robert E. Shields, 81, Princeton, died Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, at the Ottawa Retirement Village in Ottawa. Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ottawa. Burial will follow at the St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Scipio. The family... [More]
COLONY — Terry Ellis, 47, passed away on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 in Topeka, Kan. He was born on Aug. 25, 1970 in Iola, Kan. Terry had lived in Iola, but had lived most of his life in Colony. Terry graduated from Crest High School in 1988. He had owned and operated... [More]
Large crowds flocked to downtown Iola Saturday for Farm-City Days, with activities extending well into the evening, until a line of severe thunderstorms cut short the fun. At top from left, Marv the Mustang, Iola High School’s mascot, is greeted by a line of parade spectators;... [More]
Strickler Dairy Farm played host to dozens of legislators, dairymen, industry experts and dairy marketing pros on Friday. “The most important thing we can do as dairymen,” Steve Strickler told those who gathered for the Kansas Dairy Association-sponsored event, “is... [More]
HUMBOLDT — A call this week to the Chris and Connie Bauer home: “I’ll be coming,” announced Lawrence Scheer, a 94-year-old resident of Phoenix, Ariz., and a 1942 graduate of Humboldt High. Unless someone else popped up overnight, Scheer will be the oldest... [More]
For years a staple on the Iola town square, KwiKom Communications has moved to a roomier venue on West Miller Road. With its large fleet of trucks and vans, its warehouse full of hardware, its nearly 30 employees, and its 140 radio towers — stretching from Topeka... [More]
Occasionally, local fans of the arts are reminded of just how much talent fills the halls of Allen Community College. One such reminder is on display this week, as the ACC drama and music departments present “She Loves Me!” at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. Headlining... [More]
Given Kansas’s place as the fastest-growing dairy state in the country, it would be a comfort to know that when one or another legislator is asked to speak either in favor or in opposition to the dairy industry in this state, he at least knows what he’s talking about.... [More]
A jury trial for Joshua Knapp, charged with the murder of Iolan Shawn Cook, has been pushed back to January. Allen County District Judge Daniel Creitz approved Wednesday a defense motion to delay the start of the trial — originally scheduled for Nov. 13 — because... [More]
The Iola boys and girls cross country teams repeated as Pioneer League Champions on Thursday at the league meet at Burlington. The boys have now won their fourth straight league title while the girls won league last season. It was a close one for the Fillies, edging out Anderson... [More]
Humboldt volleyball had a nice weekend finishing second at the Neodesha Tournament on Saturday. “I thought the girls played very hard today,” head coach Terry Meadows said. “We found ways to win in some close games and that is good to see this late in the season.... [More]
Iola volleyball struggled on Saturday at the Anderson County Invitational, going 0-3 in matches and 0-6 in sets. The Fillies opened with Burlington and fell to the Wildcats, (12-25, 12-25). Piper Moore had six kills and Katie Bauer had two. Mia Aronson had the only ace of the... [More]
It’s said when life is at its’ toughest, that’s when you see the true character of a person come out. For the Iola Mustangs and senior running back Cale Barnhart, their 50-14 road loss to Burlington was toughest with 3:50 left in the game. A... [More]
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