Francis Eugene "Gene" Olp joined his wife, Sue, in heaven on December 5, 2019. Gene was born to Charles and Grace Olp on October 24, 1926 on the family ranch just outside of Prairie City, Oregon. He was the fifth of ten children – two of which died in infancy. After his family lost the ranch during the Depression, his family moved often, requiring Gene to attend several different schools. He worked on many different ranches as a teen and often talked of riding horses and baling hay as one of his favorite times of his life.
Gene served in the Army and was an expert rifleman. It was this experience that caused his lifelong hearing impairment. After the Army, Gene attended bible college in San Francisco where he met Sue. He and Sue pastored a church in Lorella, Oregon where they made many lifelong friends. Gene then worked briefly for the welfare department and left in 1958 to work for the Klamath County Juvenile Department. He eventually became its director in 1968 and worked there until his retirement in 1991. Gene cared deeply about youth. Throughout his life, young people he had counseled approached him to tell him what a positive effect he had on their lives. While working as the director of the juvenile department, Gene commuted to Southern Oregon College where he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Upon retirement, Gene worked part-time at Triad School teaching Spanish.
Gene was truly a gentle and honorable man. His Christian faith was very important to him and he lived it through his words and actions. He had a smile that could melt anyone’s heart. He had many interests including learning Spanish, woodworking, beekeeping, reading, and gardening; but he regarded his most important job as a husband and father. Even though he often worked several jobs and commuted to college while raising his family, they never felt deprived of his time or love.
Gene was pre-deceased by Sue, his wife of 65 years; his daughter, Debbie Sturgeon (Hal); three sisters, Dorothy Hanson, Loretta Harvey and Grace Cook and a brother Paul Olp. He is survived by his daughters Beth Engstrom (Kurt) and Cyndi Kallstrom (Mike); eight grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren; his brothers Leonard and Everett Olp and his sister, Ruth Slape. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, December 13, 2019 at Klamath Christian Center, 6100 Church Hill Drive, Klamath Falls. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Klamath Hospice.
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