Elvin A. Olfert

 

January 3, 2018

Elvin A. Olfert was born on April 30, 1923, to Dietrich M. and Katharina (Franz) Olfert on the family homestead in Lustre, Mont.. He used to say he was a remarkable child, as he never fought with his brother. Actually, he only had four sisters. Elsie was older, and after him came Linda, Ethel and Marilyn.

To keep the little one-room school open, he was enrolled in school before the age of 5. As he was pushed along, he developed a dislike for formal schooling and chose an early graduation before completing the ninth grade. Learning, however, was a life-long passion of his, evident in his future interests and creativity in developing farming tools and equipment. He tried the computer but somehow it didn't respond to his familiar tools.

At the age of 17, he had a hay wagon accident while helping in the harvest that laid him up for a year, keeping him out of World War II. While he did not serve his country in the military, he faithfully served his community and his neighbors throughout his life. Always ready to lend a hand or an airplane ride, he still enjoyed most sneaking out the back door unnoticed. That's exactly how he left us a week ago. He saw good harvests, poor harvests, and watched crops destroyed by hail, but he was always ready to plant the next one, knowing that God would sustain his family.


He married Selma Toews on March 23, 1946, and together they raised their family on that same farm, living there until his passing on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, at the age of 94. After they married, they settled into their house in Lustre, a remodeled granary, where they raised their three children. Not content to have a small garden of potatoes, he would plant a few rows of potatoes, a quarter of a mile long. In later years, we would tease him about supplying the US Army. (Of course, as kids, we'd have to hoe them!) His family was always important to him, and there were many summer trips to Fort Peck Lake, often with his best friend, Marvin Dick and his family. Another highlight was a few trips to Glacier National Park and a cabin on Lake McDonald.

He was ready for a good time, entertaining children in church, and even taking nephews and nieces bowling when they tired of singing German songs at the family Christmas gatherings. But the kids and some of the uncles always enjoyed going along.

In his retirement, he never met a new easy chair that he could not add to his living space. But his trips to the shop "to check on things" were frequent as was his willingness to drive an errand. In his younger years, he enjoyed scaring the ladies with his driving; he was still doing this in his 90s.


When their daughter, Jeanette, became ill with cancer about 12 years ago, he and Selma were faithful in caring for her, and spending many months with her during her treatments. His tenderness during that time, and his faithful care for his wife of almost 72 years, Selma, continued to demonstrate his consistent love for his family.

Dad was a man of integrity. With his hands and feet he loved the Lord, his family, his work, his community, his church and his neighbors. Daily he verbalized gratitude for God's grace and mercy.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 72 years, Selma Toews Olfert; one sister, Ethel Wiens and her husband, Frank; two sons and their families, Kenneth Olfert and his wife, Robin, of Seattle, Wash., and Ronald Olfert and his wife, Etta, of Lustre; nine grandchildren and 25+ great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 1 p.m. at the Lustre MB Church. Bell Mortuary of Glasgow was in charge of arrangements.

 

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