Barbara R. Oles

1926 - 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Barbara R. Oles, 95, formerly of Gladstone Hollow, Andes, died Saturday June 19, 2021, in Cooperstown, surrounded by her daughters. 

Barb was born April 23, 1926 at the family home in Franklin, Meadowdale Farm, a daughter of Edwin C. and Mildred E. (Payne) Rowell. On April 6, 1947, she married Franklin G. Oles of Delhi.

Barb attended the Delaware Literary Institute in Franklin where she excelled in art, graduating in 1944. She was accepted into the art program at Alfred, but shortly before classes were to begin a returning WWII soldier was awarded her spot. She then elected to attend the home economics program at Delhi Tech.

Barb and Frank owned and operated the F.G. Oles IGA Store (later the F.G. Oles General Store) in Andes for 20 years, with Barb tending to the bookwork and clerking. In 1966 she began a career with the Delaware County Department of Social Services, in addition to continuing her commitments to family, home and the store. She successfully completed every civil service test that was available and rose through the ranks from typist in the Child Welfare Unit to Director of the Food Stamp Division at the time of her retirement in 1988. She then began yet another career as a receptionist/transcriptionist in the Radiology Department at Delhi Hospital.

Barb was an avid reader and a master of crossword puzzles, using pen not pencil. Everyone knew not to call her during “Jeopardy,” and if you were watching with her, she was always quicker with the answer. Upon her retirement she enjoyed meeting up with the Andes ladies daily at the local café for camaraderie, laughter and news. She moved to Cooperstown in 2009 and was quickly welcomed into “The Dinner Belles” who dined every Wednesday night at The Otesaga. In the last several years Barb was able to resume her interest and talent in art and enjoyed local concerts. 

Above all else, Barb loved her family. She loved hearing about their adventures and was endlessly proud of their accomplishments. Chats and visits always brought smiles and laughter. Moments big and small at the family gatherings in Andes are memories her loved ones will carry with them forever.

Barb was a former member and trustee of the Andes Presbyterian Church and a former member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

She is survived by her three daughters: Kathy (Doug) Woodin of Andes, Susan (Andy) Lazar of Plains PA, and Debbie (Jim) Dow of Cooperstown; 7 grandchildren: Matt and Jared “Boomer” Woodin, Valerie (Casey) Roache, Andrew and Shelly Lazar, Neil (Jaime) and Brian Dow; 11 great grandchildren: Kiera, Skyler and Owen Woodin, Olivia and Ellie Roache, and Mitchell, Baylie, Alivia, Brianna, Kendra and Cooper Dow. Barb is also survived by her sister, Marilyn Monaco of Tampa, FL; a sister-in-law, Anita Rowell, of Kingston, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her husband, Frank, in June 2005; a daughter, Jenny in May 1966; brothers Edwin C. and James A. Rowell; and a sister, Audrey Geiselman.

A committal and burial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 23, 2021, in the Woodland Cemetery in Delhi. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Andes Presbyterian Church, PO Box 299, Andes, NY 13731.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.