Wilbur S. Oles Jr.
DELHI — Wilbur S. Oles Jr., 91, Delhi, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at his home in Delhi.
Wilbur (Bill) was born Feb. 23, 1922, in Delhi, son of Wilbur S. Oles and Mildred (Gladstone) Oles.
He graduated from Delaware Academy in 1940 and entered Syracuse University where he earned a BS in marketing and finance in August 1943. Within a month, Bill was in Chicago being commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.
It was in the summer of 1943, that Bill met Betty B. Horton at Camp Shankitunk. They married on Oct. 25, 1946. They eventually settled in Delhi where they raised four children. This past October would have marked their 76th wedding anniversary.
Bill served his country during World War II on the USS Dorothea Dix which took him to the European invasion, African campaign and finally to the Pacific campaign. When he left the Navy in 1946, he had risen in rank to Lieutenant Commander. It was during Bill’s Navy years that he exchanged countless letters with Betty which nurtured a love that resulted in their marriage after the war.
When Bill returned to Delhi, he was elected in 1952 and reelected through 1961 as Delaware County Clerk. He was treasurer for Delaware Academy and Central School from 1948 to 1975. In 1962, Bill became executive director of the College Association at Delhi Inc., State University at Delhi. In 1975, Bill became the general manager of Lake Delaware Farms, Lake Delaware. He retired as general manager in 1985, but continued to serve on the board of directors of the Lake Delaware Boys Camp until his death.
Bill interests lead him to become involved in the Delhi Fish & Game Club, Hamden Fish & Game Club, Delaware County Historical Association, Second Presbyterian Church (now known as The United Ministry), Alumni Rowing Association of Syracuse University, Psi Upsilon Fraternity and Otscholdela Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Throughout his life, Bill had a strong commitment to his community. He was on the committee that raised funds and built Delhi’s first swimming pool, served as chairman for the Delaware County cancer drives, was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Village of Delhi from 1968 through 1975 and again in the late 1990 through 2004. He was a member of the O’Connor Hospital board of directors, Delaware County 4-H, American Legion Post 190, Kiwanis Club, a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and served on the board of directors at the Delhi Telephone Company from 1983 to 1999. In 2003, he organized and led what is now known as the Community Swimming Pool Project soon to be built in Delhi.
Bill was predeceased by his wife Betty on Oct. 4 of this year.
He is survived by his four children, Nancy Sweet (Dale) of Concord, N.C., Margaret Baldwin of Delhi, Wilbur S. Oles III (Diane) of Delhi and Stephen Oles (Lynn) of Delhi. He was also blessed with 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
A service to celebrate the lives of Bill and Betty was held on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Memorial contributions may be made in Bill’s name to Catskill Area Hospice, 116 Main St., Delhi, NY 13753 or the Community Swimming Pool Project —Town of Delhi, 5 Elm St., Delhi, NY 13753.
Expressions of sympathy to the family may be made online at www.macarthurfh.com.
Arrangements are with the MacArthur Funeral Home, Delhi.