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Jonathan Hanford Olds

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HENDERSONVILLE-Jonathan Hanford Olds suffered a massive stroke which led to his death on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at the Elizabeth House. He was born January 22, 1924 near Philadelphia, PA, to the late Charles Lewis Olds M.D. and his second wife, Irene Ayres Mansfield Olds. Charles Lewis and his first wife, Mary Johnson, a Smith College graduate also educated at Oxford, were both homeopathic physicians who became pioneers in the wilderness of Marco Island, FL where they raised three daughters, Saloma, Rosalie, and Orida. With Mary's death, Charles returned to the Philadelphia area where he married Irene who gave birth of Joselyn Olds Smith and her brother, Jonathan.
After graduation from the Academy in Bryn Athyn in 1942, Jon joined the Navy just as the Second World War was heating up. While stationed in Miami, he met his first wife, Mildred Dabney Hudson and they were married in June, 1945. One week later, Jon was transferred to the Navy Yard at Norfolk, VA. Then transferred to the USS Adonis, an LST that had been converted to a repair ship, where he remained until the end of the war. He returned to his new wife in Miami and was hired by Pan Am. He also studied at night at the University of Miami. Jon spent 37 enjoyable years with Pan Am holding the positions of Chief Project Engineer for new aircraft, Director, and Communications.
His wife, Mildred died quickly in 1981. A year later, Jon married Frances Agnes Gutman and took early retirement from Pan Am at age 59. They wintered in Key Largo, FL and the NC mountains for the summer months until France's death in September of 1987. Experience taught Jon that being around people was the best medicine for grief. He joined a local Fred Astaire ballroom dance studio for lessons where he met his late wife, Eva Milburn, a recent widow and moved into her home in Horse Shoe. Jon served as President of the Memories Ballroom Dance Club for 9 years with Eva as secretary, until 2011. They were also members of the Four Seasons Dance Club; and were joyous ballroom dancers as well as superb organizers and hosts.
At age 79, Jon learned to fly a Cessna 172, bought a plane and took great pleasure in his adventures. He was a ham radio operator, and took endless delight, as did his father before him, in working in their woods, sawing and chopping logs for the winter fireplace. A kind and active, hard working man, he engaged in many different types of work on motors and other engineering challenges for 27 happy years before Eva died in March 2015.
Jonathan is survived by nephews: Jonathan, Willard and Gilbert Smith of near Chicago, and Charles Smith of Cherokee Village, AK. His 2ndcousin Martha Olds Adams and her husband, Bob, are residents of Hendersonville. At Jon's request, there will be no service. His remains will be interred near Eva's in the Memorial Garden of St. John's in the Wilderness. Any memorial gifts may be directed to Four Seasons Hospice; Compassion for Life, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731 or on line at www.FourSeasonCFL.org.
An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center are in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Times-News on Aug. 18, 2015
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