Douglas J. Olmstead
MIDDLEFIELD — Douglas John Olmstead, 88, of Middlefield, went to be with the Lord Friday afternoon, Feb. 14, 2014.
He was born Dec. 13, 1925, at The Thanksgiving Hospital in Cooperstown, a son of George Abram Olmstead Sr. and Zula M. Butler Olmstead.
Raised in Toddsville, he graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1943. During his high school years he was employed as an assistant shoe repairman by Angelo Pugliese at his shop on Main Street in Cooperstown.
On April 24, 1944, Doug entered into active service in the United States Army and proudly served his country during World War II. A truck driver with Company A 1778 Engineer Construction Battalion, he was stationed in Okinawa as part of the Asiatic Pacific Theatre of Operations. After re-enlisting in 1946, he earned his honorable discharge from the Armed Forces in April of 1949.
Upon returning to the Cooperstown area he was employed by the Clark Family, first at their sawmill and later at the Iroquois Meat Market and The Otesaga.
On Oct. 14, 1950, Doug married Rose Marie Dziergowski in a ceremony at the Rectory of St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Cherry Valley. Rose Marie died on July 24, 1972, at the age of 44. Doug then married Esther M. Christiansen on Nov. 17, 1973, at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Cherry Valley. After 37 years of marriage, Esther died Sept. 26, 2010.
Throughout his life Doug had a talent for wood working and in his later years was self-employed as a cabinet maker. An expert with a divining rod, he was also a local dowser.
A devoted member of the Middlefield community, he was a Charter Member of the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department, and also served on the former Board of Supervisors representing the Town of Middlefield. He was also a life member of the Sgt. Walter P. Eggleston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7128 in Cooperstown.
In his leisure, he enjoyed his love of music and often played the violin.
Doug is survived by his two daughters, Karen A. McMahon Gratton and her husband, the Rev. Tom A. Gratton of Schenevus, and children Stephanie Black and her children and Autumn Black Jewell and her daughter, and Kathleen M. Olmstead-Mummert of Locust Grove, Va., and family; and his son, Keith Douglas Olmstead of Toddsville and family. He is also survived by a sister, Vivian Slater of Skaneateles; two sisters-in-law, Frances Page and Germaine Olmstead; many nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by one brother, George A. Olmstead Jr., who died March 4, 1985; and two sons-in-law, Henry Ernest Mummert, who died Feb. 25, 1999, and Michael Carter McMahon, who died Aug. 5, 2006.
A funeral service will be offered at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown with the Rev. Tom A. Gratton, Doug's son-in-law, officiating.
The Service of Committal and Burial with Military Honors will take place later this spring in St. Mary's Cemetery, Index, where Doug will be laid to rest near his first wife, Rose Marie.
There will be no public calling hours.
Memorial gifts may be made to Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department, 3666 County Highway 35, Middlefield, NY 13450 or the Cooperstown VFW Post No. 7128, 60 Main St., Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.