A celebration of the life of Barbara Elizabeth Olmstead will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 at the First Baptist Church in Claremore. Burial will follow at Lone Elm Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday from 1-7 p.m. with family receiving visitors from 5-7 p.m.
Barbara passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. She was 76.
Born May 13, 1937 in Kansas City, Mo. to Curtis and Madeline (Smith) Smart, Barbara received her education in 13 different schools before graduating from Rogers High School in Tulsa, Okla.
This constant changing of schools was one of the first things Barbara decided would never happen to her children. One of her priorities as a mother was to see that all her children received their education in the same school they started in. Barbara and Gary made Catoosa their home for 52 years and all her children began their education and graduated from Catoosa High School.
After spending their summers together working at the Holberg’s Resort in Holberg, Calif., Barbara married Gary Olmstead on June 18, 1955 in Miami, Okla.
Their union was gifted with four children, a foster daughter and many other children who were welcomed and loved in their home. That began Barbara’s life long career as a wife, mother and mentor; a role that God had chosen specifically for her. In fact, some believe she was the true example of a Proverbs 31 woman.
Barbara’s faith and belief in the promises of God’s Word were evident in every facet of her life. Having a hunger for God’s Word from a very young age, Barbara came to a total commitment of her life to the Lord’s work at the age of 16 in Coffeyville, Kan.
She was involved in Vacation Bible School from age 16 until age 75. She was also actively involved in every church that she was a member, holding several positions from Children’s Church Director to Sunday School teacher.
Family was always her passion. Barbara loved the times the family spent together at Spring Creek Resort when the children were young.
Barbara took great pride in her family name Olmstead and loved to travel to destinations that shared the Olmstead name. Some of her other favorite vacations during her golden years included a trip to Niagara Falls and a cruise on which she was so pleased that their room had a balcony. Anytime the family was all together, Barbara considered that a holiday. Her warm, caring nature and her servant’s heart were evident to each family member as she made them feel loved and important. Family gatherings were filled with fun, playing games or swimming in the backyard pool.
This loving wife, mother and grandmother will be missed by all whose lives she touched. Barbara is survived by her husband of 58 years, Gary Olmstead; her children Elizabeth Hill and husband Paul of Clinton, Mark Olmstead and wife Rhonda of Claremore, Jeff Olmstead and wife Gail of Catoosa, Steven Olmstead and wife Missy of Claremore, and Skee Olmstead of Tulsa; grandchildren Mark Olmstead Jr. and wife Jennifer, Skyler Olmstead and wife Kelly, Justin Hill and wife Stormie, Sierra Olmstead, Amanda Trimm and husband Richard, Morgan Hill, Brandon Olmstead, River Hill, Preston Olmstead, Ireland Olmstead and Gracie Olmstead; 6 great grandchildren, Scarlett Olmstead, Hensley Hill, Erik, Megan, Madison, Chloe Trimm and a little Trimm on the way; special relative Cora Vanhoye and numerous nieces and nephews. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, a special aunt and uncle, and step-father Norman Wagoner.
In lieu of flowers or other condolences, please consider making a donation in Barbara Olmstead’s name to the Baptist Children’s Home because it held a special place in her heart.