Olen P Wood, 84, of Nampa, died Friday, May 25, 2007, at SunBridge Retirement and Rehabilitation for Nampa.
Olen was born Sept. 19, 1922, at Ft. Bliss, Texas, to William Henry and Frances Jane Wood. The family relocated to California in 1932 where he graduated Porterville High School. He eagerly joined the war effort during WWII, serving aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney in the Pacific and Atlantic. While on leave in Oakland, Calf., in July 1943, he met Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin, the sister of a shipmate. They were married on New Year's Day 1944.
After leaving the service, Olen became a mechanical engineer. His greatest passions, however, were family and flying. He earned his private pilot's license in 1951 and logged over 5,000 hours in the air, both for pleasure and on regular trips to ferry food and aid to the poor in Mexico.
After retirement, he and Mary opened a business in the small community of Big Bear City, Calif., to provide shopping and handyman services to shut-ins.
They became residents of Nampa in 1994 and quickly fell in love with the quiet semi-rural community.
Olen was preceded in death by his sister Oda Faye, a daughter Sharron Billing and a granddaughter Patricia Hyde.
He is survived by his wife Mary, his daughters, Joanne O'Connell and Lynn Velkov (both California residents), four grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to extend sincere appreciation for the efforts and many kindnesses of the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at Mercy Medical Center, Saint Alphonsus Medical Group, MSTI, Saltzer Medical Group, Mercy Hospice and SunBridge. Sincere gratitude also to Pastor Bruce Swanson and our First United Presbyterian Church family for the continuing flow of warm and loving support.
Commitment services will be held at a later date in Big Bear, Calif.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Jun. 3, 2007.