Robert Olives

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    - Lou & Etta Chavez
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    - Tom Thomsen
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Olives, Robert Lee

Robert Lee Olives, 89, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 14, 2017. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather to a family of nine children, nineteen grandchildren, and twenty four great grand children.

Born August 10, 1927 in Colfax California, Bob was the youngest of nine children of Rid and Pearl Olives. Growing up in Depression era California left Bob with a keen sense making the best of the least and enjoying the little things in life, a disposition that he carried throughout his lifetime.

Enlisting in the Army on his 18th birthday, Bob met the love of his life Ms. Maria Crecencia Chavez of Santa Rosa, New Mexico on a GI train bound from Chicago to Washington DC. Ms. Chavez was in the Navy WAVE Corp and stationed at the Pentagon. Their courtship continued as Bob was deployed in Alaska, decoding Army messages sent across the Berring Staights. At the end of his military service, Bob traveled to New Mexico, reunited with his love, and the couple were married in 1947.

Bob and his wife started their life together in Oakland, CA. He worked as a repairman for the Telephone Company and Crecencia worked at the Alameda Air Base. During this time, Crecencia gave birth to their first of nine children, a son named Michael. Later, the family would reside in Washington state and the family grew to five children.

Longing to be near family, Robert and Crecencia returned to Santa Rosa, NM in 1956. The couple continued to grow their family while Bob worked as a clerk in the town pharmacy. Crecencia gave birth to four more baby Olives, for a grand total of nine children. During this period, Bob built their family home by himself, much of which used reclaimed materials. He was "green" long before it was fashionable!

In November 1960, Bob mounted a successful campaign and was elected County Clerk of Guadalupe County. After serving two terms, Bob took on two jobs: a counterman in the local lumberyard during the day and a night clerk at a motel on Route 66. In 1972, Bob moved the family to Albuquerque and finished his work career by founding & operating a small business.

Known as "Pompo" by his grandchildren and great- grandchildren, he was a gregarious and warm-hearted man. He never met a stranger, and always had a joke (sometimes off color) at the ready. A gifted carpenter and craftsman, Bob filled the homes of all his family and friends with cherished handcrafted pieces.

Bob is preceded in death by his wife Crecencia and his son Dr. Michael Lee Olives. He is survived by Patricia Olives and Geoff Wheeler of Northfield Minnesota, Margaret Gallegos and husband Manuel, Maria Castellano and husband Mike, Maida Olives, Melba Junick and her husband Dennis, all of Albuquerque, Marcia Martinez-Helfman and wife Sarah of Philadelphia, Mark Olives of Los Angeles, Merrick Olives and wife Lane of Atlanta, and Monica Olives of Phoenix, AZ, as well as his adoring grandchildren and great grandchildren.

At Bob's request, the family will have a private celebration of his life and burial at the Veteran's National Cemetery in Santa Fe where he will be laid to rest with his loving wife. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted in Bob's memory by The Lovelace Auxiliary, 601 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Mar. 17, 2017