Olive Umbaugh

Olive Umbaugh, 98, of Ankeny, formerly of Jefferson, died Friday, February 3, 2017.

A service of remembrance was held Monday, February 6 at Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home in Jefferson with Rev. Sheldon Henderson of Central Christian Church officiating. The musical selection were “Amazing Grace,” “On Eagle’s Wings” and “Because He Lives.” Soloist, Gary Haupert, was accompanied by Danille Curtis. Honorary bearers were Hilary Coffman, Leslie Brittain, Katie Umbaugh, Laura Umbaugh, Lily Dignan, Robbie Culp, Judith Hillman and Jim Schleisman. Casket bearers were Don Umbaugh, Jeremy Brittain, Bob Culp, Kevin Curp, Matt Coffman and Terry Blackburn. Interment was at Scranton Township Cemetery in Scranton.

Olive Mildred Blackburn Umbaugh was born December 10, 1918 on a farm west of Grand Junction, Iowa, to George S. Blackburn and Geneva (Terrill) Blackburn. She graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1937 and attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa from 1937 to 1939. Olive began her 33 year elementary teaching career at Jackson Township #2 school in 1939, where she taught for 1 year. Olive taught in Dana from 1940 to 1942, Bagley from 1942 to 1943, and Scranton from 1943 to 1946.

Olive was married to Glen R. Umbaugh on November 18, 1945 at the Grand Junction Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction. Daughter, Mary Eileen Umbaugh, was born March 18, 1947 in Scranton, where Glen was barbering and Olive was teaching. Olive continued to raise a young family while Glen was in the military, with Frank Samuel Umbaugh born in Salina, Kansas, on April 15, 1949. Olive and Glen then returned to Iowa, at first living on the farm south of Grand Junction, where Peter King was born on November 26, 1950, then moved to Plover, Iowa. Glen barbered and Olive sold advertising for a little newspaper Glen also ran off of a mimeograph machine. The Umbaugh’s next move was to Cherokee, Iowa for Glen’s work in another barber shop.

In August, 1954 Olive, Glen and family moved to their first house on Cedar Street in Jefferson accompanied by the birth of Glen Umbaugh II. Olive resumed her teaching career in 1956 for the Cooper school system from 1956 to 1959. In 1957, Olive and family moved to the home on Brackett Street.

Olive then endured many blustery winter days on the playgrounds of the Scranton schoolhouse, teaching there from 1959 to 1964. In 1964, Olive began teaching 5th grade in Jefferson public schools. As teaching requirements were increased, Olive attended Drake University classes at night and on weekends, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966. When the elementary schoolrooms were moved to Cooper, Olive and her lifelong friends made the sojourns together to Cooper again, until that building was closed in 1981.

Olive was widowed in 1973. She retired from teaching from the Jefferson public school system in 1982. Prior to, and during her retirement, Olive enjoyed traveling around the country, visiting her grown children in Georgia, Tennessee, California, or wherever her kids were living. She was also a master bridge player, and spent much of her time in retirement playing in and hosting several bridge clubs, visiting with her family members and tremendous friends in Jefferson and around the country.  Olive moved to the Vintage Hills assisted living facility in Ankeny in August, 2013.

Preceding Olive in death were her parents, George and Geneva Blackburn; husband, Glen Umbaugh; brothers, George T. (Bernice) Blackburn and Eugene (Edna) Blackburn; and daughter, Mary Umbaugh of Hanford, Calif. Survivors include her brother, Allen (Karen) of Grand Junction; sons, Frank (Georgia) of Mirabile, Mo., Peter (Ann) of Avondale Estates, Ga. and Glen (Deborah) of Alleman, Iowa; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; many loving nieces and nephews; and a host of dear lifelong friends.

Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

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