John Oller, 102, of Pana, died peacefully with his family by his side on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in Heritage Health, Pana.
He was born October 31, 1910 in Pana, the son of Frank L. and Leila Sturgeon Oller. He lived in Pana his entire life. He married Ruth Cummings on June 26, 1933 in Pana; she preceded him in death. He worked for Howard Fryhoff in Springfield, doing painting and interior decorating for churches. John’s expertise was the gold leaf that you see in many churches. Also in his painting career, he developed the procedure to grain metal doors to make them look like any wood species and was proud to be a hod carrier. John retired at age 50. He loved gardening and was a master gardener. He also was a poet and wrote many poems; in fact, Tom Philips named him the “Bard of Bear Creek Road”. He loved playing horseshoes and had won several trophies. In his earlier days, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and the outdoors. John had built his own log cabin on Pana Lake from sticks that he gathered, designing his own fireplace in the cabin. In his later years, he was a faithful caregiver. He visited people in the nursing home, bringing them fruits and vegetables, and enjoyed spending time and visiting with them. He was a member of Painter’s Union Local #90 and also had been a member of other painting unions in the past.
Surviving are children, Barb Eilers and husband John of Pana, Gary Oller and wife Claudia of Tower Hill, Carol Klein and husband Mike of Frisco, TX; eight grandchildren, DeeAnn Carroll, Joni Etchison, Nancy Stupek, Kevin Oller, Kathy Patient, Tom Oller, Sonja Dobbs and Philip Klein; 14 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and sister, Ruth Maier of Vandalia, OH. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, sister, Frances Lucille Oller and brother, Paul Oller.
Visitation will be Thursday, January 10, 2013 from 5 to 8 p.m. in McCracken-Dean Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Friday, January 11, 2013 in McCracken-Dean Funeral Home at 10:00 a.m., with Lila Chaplin officiating. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery, Pana.
Light a virtual candle or send condolences to the family at www.mdfh.com.