Rich Olive “just didn’t feel good” but he fought hard to evict the cancer that established residency in his bones last summer. Rich died June 20, 2016 at home surrounded by his family.
Richard Warren Olive was born December 2, 1949 in Bethesda, MD to Urban (Bill: it’s a great story) and Mary Ann (Dumbauld) Olive. The family moved to Story City when Rich was 2 and he began his legacy of commitment to the community shortly thereafter. Rich graduated from Story City High School in 1968 and would like everyone to remember he was named male athlete of the year for his graduating class.
South Dakota State offered Rich football and basketball scholarships but the college life didn’t suit him well so he returned home and joined the Army National Guard, serving for 7 years as a “weekend warrior.” In 1970, Rich met a girl from Jewell; their first date was at Babe’s in Des Moines and soon both were smitten. Rich and Marian (Tesdall) were married May 29, 1971 and found their life’s calling: chasing 3 amazing and intelligent daughters.
As if living in a house with 4 women wasn’t enough of a challenge, Rich and Marian bought Egenes Insurance in 1982 , eventually changing the name to Norsemen Insurance and adding a Realty component in 2000. His love of all things Norsemen extended to coaching basketball at Roland-Story, volunteering as a track coach, and was the beloved voice of Norsemen football for 30 years. Many R-S alumni named their sons only after asking Rich to practice announcing their name choices.
To stave off boredom, Rich has spent the last 40 years working with the Story City Economic Development Corporation, serving as President multiple times. He truly enjoyed wining and dining companies looking to locate in Story City, hosting “meetings” with the EDC Board, and attending groundbreakings with his shovel in hand. Rich was a founding member, often president, and popular leading man of Judge Story’s Theatrical Troupe; served on the Bethany Manor Foundation Board and the Mary Greeley Medical Center Foundation Board; and was a member and past President of the Lion’s Club. He really liked to be president….
Rich had a profound love of golf: he helped resuscitate the Riverbend Golf Course and was (no surprise here) president of the Riverbend Golf Board. He and his golf buddies kept both the greens and the bars of Riverbend and other Iowa courses in the black. He will be keeping a careful eye on future Friday golf outings to make sure everyone’s score card is accurate.
Rich and Marian sang together in the Immanuel Lutheran Church choir for over 30 years; Rich loved being in the back row of the choir and worshiping with song.
Rich’s term as State Senator was perhaps the most proud and challenging time of his life. He believed that he was working to make his community and his state a better place for his own kids and grandkids as well as his constituents.
Rich’s family hopes that his golf buddies continue to tell and retell his stories, the choir guys keep singing, the Yankees win the Series, the Norsemen press box is full of people who love R-S football, and every kid he coached passes on the love of the game.
Left to tell funny stories about Rich are his wife Marian; 3 daughters and their spouses: Nicole and Chris Engelhardt, Michelle and Cory Tjelmeland, Suzanne and Blair Hansen; 11 grandkids: Thomas, Cortney, and Alyson Riesberg; Cole (Alysia) Engelhardt; Gavin Carpenter; Madison, Ally and Avary Tjelmeland; Sam, Drew and Bridget Hansen. His brother Curt (Deb) Olive, 2 sisters Hope (Gary) Brown and Sherri (Mike) Webb, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Rich was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Mary Ann Olive and his mother- and father-in-law, Abel and Shirley Tesdall.
If you want to honor Rich, instead of flowers the family requests that you donate time or resources to a community organization you care about or consider contributing to the Rich Olive Memorial Fund which will be distributed to causes Rich cared about.
A time for reminiscing, sharing and storytelling will be held Sunday, June 26 from 4:00-7:00 PM at the Riverbend Golf Course clubhouse in Story City. Memorial service will be held on Monday, June 27 at 10:30 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Story City. Giving in life as death, Rich’s body was donated to Des Moines University.
Obituary & photo published by Adams & Soderstrum Family of Funeral Homes
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