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 Thomas Franklin Olin, Sr

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Thomas Franklin Olin, Sr

  • Birth 24 Apr 1928 USA
  • Death 30 Oct 1996 USA
  • Burial Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
  • Memorial ID 169806000

Thomas F. Olin was the Chairman of Archway Cookies, Incorporated.

Tom Olin was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Merton and Ann (Roring) Olin, where his father was an executive with the J. C. Penney Company. He attended seven different grade schools, graduating from high school with honors in Grove City, Pennsylvania in 1946. He joined the United States Army in 1946 and served two years in the military police in Japan, where one of his primary assignments was protection of the area surrounding General Douglas McArthur’s command headquarters (Dai-Ichi Building) in downtown Tokyo. After being honorably discharged, Olin attended the University of Michigan, earning a bachelor of arts degree in economics (distinguished military graduate), with minors in political science and speech. At the suggestion of a professor, Olin joined the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C., where he worked in clandestine operations in 1952 and 1953. He maintained relationships with the government throughout the 1960s, including serving as a consultant in American foreign relations for several years, before retiring as a Major in the United States Army's Transportation Corps (USAR-TC) in 1969.

In 1964, Olin joined the Archway Cookie Company as bakery general manager in Ashland, Ohio. Putting an emphasis on product freshness and quality,he expanded the bakery – originally a converted Tucker car dealership – into the largest Archway facility in the nation, producing nearly ten million cookies per week.

Olin purchased the company as a partner in 1983,[16] and took the role of Chairman of the Board and co-Chief Executive Officer; he served in that capacity until his death in 1996. By that time, Archway Cookies had become the third-largest cookie brand in the United States, with retail sales reaching a third of a billion dollars annually.

While living in Ashland, Olin served on the Board and as President of the Ashland Public Library (1970-1977), Chairman of the Ashland City School District "Task Force" Survey (1971), Vice President of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce (1970-1972), Director of the Huntington National Bank (1972-1983), Chairman of the Ashland County Heart Fund (1973-1975), and on Ashland University Board of Trustees and President's Advisory Council (1972-1996). He was a participant in the Ashland Manufacturer's Council, a member of the City of Ashland Area Traffic Improvement Committee, and a Board Member of the First Presbyterian Church (1970-1972). He was also member of the Ashland Rotary Club (1966-1983), Young Men's Business Club, and University Club.

As a resident of Battle Creek, Michigan, Olin served on the Battle Creek Community Foundation Board of Trustees (Grant Review Committee) and as a board member of the Michigan National Bank (1983-1996). In addition, he volunteered on behalf of Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan, the South-Central Michigan Food Bank, the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Children's Miracle Network, the University of Michigan, and Habitat for Humanity. He was a lifelong Master Mason-Scottish Rite (Lodge #419), and Shriner (Saladin Temple).

Olin was named Ashland, Ohio’s first "Citizen of the Year" in 1991, and received the Sigma Chi "Significant Sig Medal" at the fraternity international grand chapter meeting in 1993. He served as Honorary National Chairman for Junior Achievement in 1996. In 1988, Olin was the keynote speaker at the Ashland Chamber of Commerce Industrial Appreciation Dinner, where he was recognized for his contributions on behalf of the city of Ashland. In 1986, he received an honorary membership in the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society in Business Administration at Ashland University.

Scholarships at the University of Michigan (The Olin Family Scholarship) and Ashland University (Thomas F. and Gloria J. Olin Scholarship) were created in his honor in 1997. A Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan matching-funds endowment (the Thomas F. and Gloria J. Olin Fund), managed by the Battle Creek Community Foundation, was also established in 1999. A Habitat for Humanity home, located at 10 Rose Street in Battle Creek, Michigan was dedicated in Olin's name on January 24, 1999.

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  • Created by: Tom Olin
  • Added: 12 Sep 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 169806000
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Franklin Olin, Sr (24 Apr 1928–30 Oct 1996), Find A Grave Memorial no. 169806000, citing Memorial Park Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Tom Olin (contributor 49059634) .