Sheff Daniel Olinger, veteran, doctor, farmer and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend passed away suddenly on Saturday, October 19, 2013. He was born to Sheff Daniel Olinger, Sr. and Ada Yeary Olinger on October 23, 1930 in Lee County, Virginia. He grew up and attended school there prior to entering Virginia Military Institute at the age of fifteen. When he was eighteen, he left VMI to attend medical school at the University of Virginia. In 1953, he graduated from medical school, married his wife, Norma Lanier, and began military service with the United States Army. He subsequently served in a variety of military assignments as a general medical officer, mostly with the 82nd Airborne Division where he served as Company Commander, Battalion Commander, Division Surgeon and Division Neuropsychiatrist. After his military service, he completed his residency in neurology at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Olinger entered private practice in Dallas in 1959. He was the first Director of Neurology at Baylor Hospital. He was also one of the founders and the first president of the Texas Neurological Society. In addition to his position at Baylor, he taught part-time at Southwestern Medical School and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, training innumerable medical school students and residents. His career in Dallas brought him into contact with many memorable events, including testifying as an expert witness for the prosecution in the trial of Jack Ruby.
Upon his retirement, Sheff and Norma retired to Georgetown, Texas and their working farm in Surry County, North Carolina. They were happily married for 51 years. After Norma passed away in 2004, Sheff became a full-time farmer in North Carolina. In his later years, he remarried a long-time family friend, Genevieve Jones and spent much time with her in Atlanta.
He was the patriarch of a large extended family and was a very generous and large-spirited friend. His wise counsel and encouragement were sought out by many and his passing leaves a great void. He was a man of great faith in the Lord and was confident in (as well as curious about) life after his time on earth.
Dr. Olinger was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Norma, his parents, his brother, William Olinger, and his sister, Betty Olinger. He is survived by Genevieve Jones Olinger; his daughter Nancy and her husband Ferdie Rodriguez, of Austin, Texas, and their children, Mary Clare Rodriguez, Lt. David Rodriguez, and Becca Rodriguez; his son, Sheff Daniel Olinger, III and his wife Laina, of Dallas, Texas, and their children, Halston Reyna, her husband Abel Reyna, and their son, Nathan, Lauren Olinger and Audrey Olinger; and his daughter Amy Aldridge and her husband Gambill, of Elkin, North Carolina, and their daughter Emma Grace Aldridge. He is also survived by his brother, Dr. B. R. Olinger and his wife, Shirley, of Asheville, North Carolina, his sister, Sue Shaw, and her husband, Larry, of Floyd, Virginia, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Elkin, North Carolina. Donations in memory of Dr. Olinger may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. The family would also like to thank Drs. Tomas Vybiral, Andras Neumark, Robert Qualheim, Dominick Carbone, and Rob Peterson for their kind attention to Dr. Olinger.
Services entrusted to Elkin Funeral Service.