Erwin Roy “Mike” Olney went to be with his Lord and savior on May 11, 2019, in Burlington, Washington, at the age of 100 years and 7 months.
Mike was born in Charles City, Iowa, on Oct.11, 1918, to Dale and Maude Olney. Prior to joining the Navy, his formative years were spent in Elgin, Illinois. On May 19, 1944, he was happily united in marriage to Marjorie Marie Moen at the First Baptist Church in Mount Vernon. After 63 years together, Marjorie passed away in May 2007.
Mike enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 on Aug. 4, 1936. On his way back to Illinois when his first enlistment period ended, Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese forces. He immediately re-enlisted and made a career of military service (29 years of distinguished active and reserve service). His duty responsibilities in the Navy were primarily with PBY “Flying Boats.” At retirement he was a chief aviation machinist mate, serving as the leading chief of the Flight Test Division at NAS North Island in San Diego, California.
In 1956 Mike and Marjorie were employed in various positions including dorm parents at King’s Garden in Edmonds. In 1968, they began a nearly two decade stint as property managers of the Norton Clapp estate on Orcas Island, which at that time encompassed most of Turtleback Mountain, Madrona Point, and the home and other holdings in the Deer Harbor area that included the Deer Harbor Inn property. Upon retirement from Orcas, they moved to Park Village in Mount Vernon, where they were park managers for 12 years. At the age of 80, Mike retired for the last time, but he never stopped serving by loving, helping, advising, sharing with, laughing with and praying for others until his last days.
Survivors include sons David (Lu) of San Diego, California; Michael (Cheri) of Green Bank, Washington; Richard (Loni) of St. George, Utah; daughter Linda (Harlow) Cameron of Eastsound, Washington; brother-in-law Don (Lil) Moen of Bellingham, Washington; sister-in-law Betty Jo Moen of Mount Vernon, Washington; sister-in-law Linda (Roger) Hurd of Mount Vernon, Washington; five grandchildren; eleven nieces and nephews; several “foster” families and many others who claimed him as one of their own.
A graveside service was held on Thursday, May 16, at Hawthorne Cemetery in Mount Vernon. A memorial service will be planned at a later date. Memorials may be made in Mike’s name to Hospice of the Northwest, Emmanuel Baptist Church or Orcas Island Community Church.