Tony Oltman, former area resident, passed away Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, at his home in Grants Pass, Ore., after a long battle with diffuse pulmonary fibrosis, caused by asbestos. He was born in Burns, Ore., in April 1938 and grew up on his family's ranch. He said being a cowboy when you are a kid was great. He joined the U.S. Army at age 17, and after being discharged, moved to Santa Barbara, where he hired on with the "Black Fleet" abalone boats, where he worked as a line tender and boat operator. Seems there was a run in the Fish and Game and at that point he hired on with Southern Pacific Railroad. He started as a fireman, then brakeman, retiring as a conductor after 35 years. Tony LOVED railroading, where he made some wonderful friends and had some great adventures. He was happy and a truly gentle soul. After retiring in 1986, he moved to Dunsmuir, Calif. He said those were the best years of his life. He had good friends, good neighbors and lived in God's country. Tony is survived by his wife, Davene; brothers, Joe of Burns, Ore.; John of Lompoc; and Rick of Portland, Ore.; son, Leonard of Mt. Home, Idaho; daughters, Toni Lee of Burns, Ore.; and Selena of Mt. Home, Idaho; father-in-law and mother-in-law, David and Gloria Trieger; and his family of loving brother and sister-in-laws, Alex and Nancy of Santa Barbara, Millie and Rick of Santa Barbara, and Jan and Miranda of Mariposa. They welcomed him into the family and loved him deeply. No services will be held at his request. What he said was to be kind to each other. If you wish, please make a donation to the local animal shelters.
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Nov. 9, 2013