“Let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7-16
Charles Sterling Olney, 94, of Scottsdale, Arizona, passed away on Thursday, June 18, 2020 after a short but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. Charlie was a remarkable man, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who always put the needs of others before his own. He was born on March 1, 1926, in the small Missouri town of St. James and grew up an only child in the depression years. His parents both worked, so there was always food on the table and a luxury item or two in their house like electricity and a radio. Charlie had vivid memories of watching workers construct the legendary Route 66 through St. James. Years later, Charlie and Sally’s daughter, Sandra, grew up along a stretch of Route 66 that ran south and west out of Chicago.
Days after his high school graduation in 1944, Charlie joined the U.S. Navy where his training began just as D-day was unfolding at Normandy, France. He and the other recruits thought they were surely headed to the frontlines of World War II in Europe. But, he was spared a combat assignment, returned home to St. James, and at age 20 took advantage of the GI Bill to begin what would become a long and illustrious business career. Charlie and his wife of 64 years, the late Sally Lou Hauge, met while both were attending college in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sally and Charlie Olney began their lives together in St. Louis in 1952. In 1961, they moved with their 3-year-old daughter Sandra to Chicago where Charlie went to work as an auditor for Armour and Company. In 1970, the Greyhound Corporation acquired Armour and moved the company’s headquarters to Phoenix, Arizona. Over the years, Charlie worked tirelessly to provide his family with a beautiful home and a life full of all the experiences the big city of Chicago had to offer. He saved his company millions of dollars as he crisscrossed the United States auditing the businesses Greyhound owned.
In the early 1980s, Charlie transferred to Greyhound’s headquarters in Phoenix, and for the next three and a half decades, Charlie and Sally made their home in Scottsdale, Arizona. They made wonderful friends in their neighborhood and at their Catholic parish of St. Patrick’s. In 1995, Charlie and Sally’s only grandchild Olivia was born in Salt Lake City. A bond was immediately forged between the baby girl and her grandpa. It will last forever. Charlie loved sports, politics, and news, and had a passion for board games, cards, and trips to the beaches in California and Oregon.
Charlie is survived by his daughter Sandra (Marcos Ortiz) of Salt Lake City, and beloved granddaughter, Olivia Ortiz. A memorial service for Charlie will be held when it is safe to gather with family and friends.
Arrangements for Charlie’s interment are being made by Larkin Mortuary in Sandy, Utah.