Ollivene M. (Wickham) Larsen (1919 - 2010)

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Ollivene M. Larsen
Funeral services for Ollivene M. Larsen, 91, were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. The honorary casket bearers were A.J. Skahill, Sara Skahill, Thomas Vaughan, Christa Vaughan, Roger Searls, Paul Searls, Charlotte Searls, Mark Osterloo, Bryce Carlson, Doug Weston, and Dr. Terry Sprague. The casket bearers were Shawn Deist, Randy Nelsen, Troy Hagedorn, Dr. Paul Schultz, Brandon LaFoy, and John Valline. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
Ollivene M. Larsen, the daughter of Dewight L. and Bessie Miller Wickham, was born Feb. 18, 1919, at her family's home in Audubon and died Dec. 29, 2010, at the Audubon County Memorial Hospital in Audubon at the age of 91 years, 10 months, and 11 days.
Ollivene was baptized and confirmed at the First Methodist Church in Audubon. She attended the Audubon Community Schools graduating with the High School Class of 1937. She enjoyed going to High School and was involved in home economics, science, math, and music events. She was a beautiful violinist and was very proud when she was chosen to go to Des Moines, to play in the Symphony Orchestra. Ollivene attended St. Anthony's School of Nursing in Carroll, and became a registered nurse. Later she received her certification in Hospital Administration from Columbia University in New York City, N.Y. After graduation she held many nursing positions across our great country. Ollivene was the Administrator of Davidson Hospital in Lake City, Iowa.
On June 5, 1941 she was united in marriage to Christian S. Larsen at the First Methodist Church in Audubon. They lived in Audubon until Christian enlisted in the U.S. Army on Sept. 16, 1942, and served with the 3160th Signal Service Battalion. Ollivene followed Chris during his tour in the U.S. Army, one stop was in Des Moines, and she was the Obstetrical Supervisor at Iowa Methodist Hospital. She later moved to Sacramento, Calif. and was the Obstetrical Supervisor at Sutter Hospital. Ollivene followed Chris to Red Banks, N.J. and was employed as an industrial nurse for Bendrix Aircraft during World War II. She then headed home when Chris was shipped overseas and taught surgical nursing at St. Anthony's Hospital in Carroll, for several years. Ollivene then went with her sister Thelma Searls and Thelma's son Roger to Stanford, Conn., where she was a surgical supervisor for St. Joseph Hospital. Chris and Ollivene farmed for 11 years in Douglas Township, Audubon County after World War II. They became proud parents of two daughters Mary and Barbara. Ollivene taught home nursing classes to many Audubon mothers and was employed by the Red Cross. In 1957, she was the first administrator of the Audubon County Memorial Hospital. She then became a nurse for the Audubon Community Schools serving for over 30 years before retiring. Ollivene never really retired from nursing, she felt a dedication to her nursing standards long after her retirement.
Ollivene was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. She was a member of the Esther Circle and received the Mission Award. She served on the State Board for the Iowa Bureau of Professional Women. She was a member of the Nishna Valley China Painters and served as President in 1985-1986. She was a certified International Porcelain artist and had a home studio where she enjoyed teaching and painting with her friends.
Ollivene was preceded in death by her husband Christian S. Larsen on June 6, 2004; her parents; and her sister Thelma and husband Fred Searls.
She is survived by her daughters Mary and husband Jerry Skahill of Ames, and Barbara and husband Thomas L. Vaughan of Winter Springs, Fla.; she was blessed with four grandchildren Shawn and husband Mark Osterloo of Denver, Colo., Nikol and husband Bryce Carlson of Iowa City, Thomas Vaughan of Winter Springs, and Christa L. Vaughan of Palm Beach, Fla.; she is also survived by many beautiful great- grandchildren, Megan Osterloo and Mayson Osterloo both of Denver, Drew Carlson and Molly Carlson both of Iowa City, Laura Maddison Vaughan, Christian Landis Vaughan and Cole Thomas Vaughan all of Winter Springs, and Chance Christian Baisden of Palm Beach; her step-grandchildren A.J. Skahill of Charleston, W.V. and Sara Skahill of Sana'a, Yemen; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Special thanks to her extended family Shawn Deist, Linda and Doug Weston, the Troy Hagedorn family and Emma Larsen, and Dr. Terry and Mary Jane Sprague.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Jan. 3 to Jan. 14, 2011