Olen King, 97, of Archbold, passed away peacefully at Fairlawn Haven Nursing Facility, surrounded by his family, on May 23, 2017.
He was born Sept. 30, 1919, to the late Henry and Ida King.
On June 8, 1941, he married Mary Jane Bauman, and she preceded him in death in 2006. They were married for 66 years.
Olen came from humble beginnings, attending a oneroom schoolhouse just down the road from his childhood home.
Although he only attended school through the eighth grade, he was a very astute businessman. He purchased his first crane in 1951 and began work at a gravel pit in Morenci, Mich. His first job was building a two-mile stretch of road.
After three years, he purchased 32 acres and started his own gravel business.
After a number of years he sold that business and started a Redi-Mix business, purchasing six acres, two trucks and two mixers. He operated that business for five years, increasing the number of trucks and mixers to six. He was approached by someone wishing to purchase his business, and sold it.
He then created Olen King Asphalt Company. For many years he owned and operated King Crane Service, and worked until he was 90 years old.
Olen will be remembered for his philanthropy. He was always willing to help anyone, whether it was providing them a job, picking up a hitchhiker or building someone a home at no cost.
Many of the relationships he created through these efforts still exist today and span 60 or more years.
As a result of his generous spirit and fun-loving personality, his influence, in the lives of so many, will remain forever.
Shortly after he was married, he was drafted into Civilian Public Service in Wilmington, Del., where he worked in a state mental institution for three years before moving back to Ohio.
He was active in his church, served for many years on the board of Grace Gospel Mission in Toledo, and shared his faith with many.
Olen is survived by his children, Brenda (EJ) Horst of Archbold and Sharon (Jim) Haxton of Toledo; five grandchildren, Alan (Annie) Horst, Susan (Doug) Gerig, Brian (Angie) Horst, Shane (Mariann) Hillard and Kyle (Melody McGee, fiancé) Hillard. He is also survived by 18 greatgrandchildren as well as greatgreat grandchildren.
Also surviving are one brother, Andy King, and four sisters, Inez, Martha and Delilah King and Florence Nafziger.
Preceding him in death was his wife, Mary Jane; his parents; brothers (Orville, Freeman and Dale); and a sister, Dorothy.
Interment and graveside services were Saturday, May 27, at 8:30 a.m. at Pettisville Cemetery, Pettisville. A memorial service followed at 9:30 a.m. at Archbold Evangelical Church.
Short Funeral Home in Archbold was entrusted with the arrangements. www.ShortFuneralHome.com.