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Gloria  Joan (Skidmore) Olin

Gloria Joan (Skidmore) Olin
  • October 4, 1930 - May 23, 2019
  • Battle Creek, Michigan

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“Debbie- I am so sorry for your loss! I just happened to be in Ashland and saw your mom's obituary. What an uplifting and joyous life your mom lived...Read More »
1 of 18 | Posted by: Amie Cooper Reynolds - MO

“Dear Friends,Such a flood of childhood memories, that could fill pages, when I read about Gloria's passing. Your family is embedded in my heart from...Read More »
2 of 18 | Posted by: lori williamson - Ashland, OH

“To the Olin Family,We send our deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. We remember her as a special lady, in the truest sense of the word,...Read More »
3 of 18 | Posted by: Maurice & Jackie Guilbault - FL

“Just found out of Gloria s passing. So sorry , she was a very special lady. ”
4 of 18 | Posted by: Linda Markham - Richland, MI

“To each of you dear Olin children,Bill and I were so saddened to learn of the death of your mother. We have so many, many wonderful memories of both...Read More »
5 of 18 | Posted by: Marlene Rose - Ashland, OH

“I remember Gloria fondly from the time she and Tom lived in Ashland. She was very special woman. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family. ”
6 of 18 | Posted by: Kathy Willis - Parma Heights, OH

“Dear Becky and Olin family, I was saddened to hear of the passing of your mother. What a very special lady who has helped many. I have such fond...Read More »
7 of 18 | Posted by: Sally Holmes - Weddington, NC

“Sending warm thoughts to all of Gloria's family. She was an absolute jewel to the Battle Creek community, and especially to Junior Achievement. Her...Read More »
8 of 18 | Posted by: Deb Dingwall - Battle Creek, MI

“Gloria will forever be a special friend of Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan. It is because of her generous spirit and her desire to make...Read More »
9 of 18 | Posted by: A friend

“Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan will be forever grateful for your leadership, passion and philanthropy. Your commitment to making the lives...Read More »
10 of 18 | Posted by: William Coderre - Grand Rapids, MI

“My heartfelt condolences to the family for your loss. May you be comforted by your cherished memories, as you await the fulfillment of Gods promise...Read More »
11 of 18 | Posted by: A friend

“Sending my love and prayers to all the Olin Family, but especially to my dear friend, Debbie. After reading your sweet mother's obit I know that your...Read More »
12 of 18 | Posted by: Mitzi Souchak - Port Charlotte, FL

“Deepest sympathy,Kingwood Center GardensMansfield, Ohio ”
13 of 18 | Posted by: A friend

“Dear Susan: Please accept our deepest sympathies on the loss of your dear mother. You and your family ae in our thoughts and prayers. Kathleen and...Read More »
14 of 18 | Posted by: A friend

“Dear Susan and Family: Please accept our deepest sympathies on the loss of your dear Mother. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Kathleen and...Read More »
15 of 18 | Posted by: Kathleen Mechem - Battle Creek, MI

16 of 18 | Posted by: Kathleen Mechem - Battle Creek, MI

“Sweet memories of a great lady. Ourdeepest sympathy and love to her family.Jon and Lynda ShodaLouisville, Tn ”
17 of 18 | Posted by: Jon Shoda - Louisville, TN

“Rest in peace in God's house!!Love and prayers for the family and friends! ”
18 of 18 | Posted by: Janice Held - Richland, MI

Love Emblem

Gloria J. Olin (October 4, 1930 - May 23, 2019)

Gloria Olin's life was truly glorious!! With limitless enthusiasm, positivity, and gratitude, she was a red-headed ray of sunshine in the lives of everyone she met.

Gloria Joan Skidmore was born on October 4, 1930, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Gloria was the daughter of Stanley and Vivian Skidmore. Her father and grandfather were successful general contractors in the area, building many of the churches, schools, and homes in the cereal city.

She attended Battle Creek Central High School and the University of Michigan, graduating from Michigan with a teaching certificate in secondary education - specializing in speech correction. She was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and Junior League of Battle Creek. She was also a Red Cross Gray Lady.

While at Ann Arbor, she met Tom Olin, a brilliant and dynamic man with a bright future as a business and community leader. They married after her graduation in 1952.

It was not always easy living with someone as charismatic and extroverted as Tom. As naturally comfortable as Tom was as a public figure, Gloria had to develop the confidence to stand at his side. Tom helped her develop an intrinsic grit and eternal positive attitude that personified the rest of her life.

Moving to Ashland, Ohio, Tom and Gloria together successfully raised a family of four children. While Tom was frequently traveling, building a career and a company, Gloria held down the fort and kept the kids on track. It was a team effort all the way. Gloria and Tom forged a relationship of mutual respect, admiration, and much love. There were very few people who smiled as readily, and earned as many friends, as Tom and Gloria Olin.

Gloria was active in the Ashland community, serving as a Samaritan Hospital trustee and as President of the Ashland Public Library Board. She was a member of the Ashland Petal Pushers Garden Club, Tempus Study Club, and First Presbyterian Church.

As empty-nesters returning to Michigan, Tom and Gloria enjoyed many years living on Gull Lake, running a successful business, and traveling. Their relationship grew even deeper in later life, with Gloria quietly asserting herself as Tom encountered a series of health issues. Tom and Gloria celebrated forty-four years of marriage and re-joined the First Congregational Church in Battle Creek a few weeks before Tom died suddenly of a heart attack.

As traumatic and stressful as that time was, it ultimately revealed her true strength of character, and she discovered the self-assurance that enabled her to blossom into the magnificent person she became over the last quarter-century.

With the support of her family, Gloria carried forward with a renewed purpose to build on the philanthropy and community service initiated by her husband.

She was named to the Board of Directors of Archway Cookies, Incorporated, serving as co-chairman between 1997 and 1998.

She established the Thomas F and Gloria J Olin Battle Creek Foundation Fund, the University of Michigan Olin Family Scholarship, the Thomas F and Gloria J Olin Endowed Scholarship at Ashland University, the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation Olin Family Scholarship, and funded a Habitat For Humanity Home (dedicated to her husband) in Battle Creek.

Gloria was active with the Battle Creek Community Foundation, and was a member of its Health Committee.

Gloria also served on the board of Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan, and in 2004, she was honored with the Gold Leadership Award at the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame in Philadelphia for her contributions to the JA Free Enterprise Society and for the JA Ordway and Olin Endowment Challenge.

Gloria maintained her existing friendships and cultivated many new ones, particularly in P.E.O. Sisterhood (Philanthropic Educational Organization), University of Michigan Victor's Club, book club and bridge club (which she relished winning). It was important for her to maintain her home in Michigan, where she felt connected to her family and friends.

Family was the center of Gloria's life, where she served as its bedrock foundation. Always available. Always listening with empathy and offering sage advice, when warranted and without judgment. She was a steady compass, guiding her family (including seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren) through rough seas as well as calm waters. She embodied a tremendous sense of humor and was always full of good cheer. She was the most positive and life-affirming person we know.

Gloria clearly understood how blessed our family is, and she made sure that we all remained grateful. She was a beautiful example of a person who improved throughout her entire life.

Gloria J. Olin passed away in her home town of Battle Creek, Michigan on May 23, 2019 after eighty-eight wonderful years. Her quiet legacy will live on for many more years to come.

Gratefully and with much love ...

Her loving family:

daughter, Susan Olin Baldwin
Christopher Baldwin
David Baldwin

daughter, Debbie and Rich Nemesi
Richie Nemesi, Allie Nemesi, Jennifer Nemesi, Leo Nemesi
Jackie and Colin Neils

son, Tom and Tam Olin
Michelle and Dan Morgan
Laura Olin and Alex Santana

daughter, Becky and Scott McQuaid
April and Lisa Cunningham, Kara Cunningham

brother, Gary Skidmore

sister-in-law, Lee Stepanchak.

Gloria's family will receive friends 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Committal and inurnment will be held for Gloria's family at Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Battle Creek Community Foundation or Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan. Personal messages for the family or memories of Gloria may be placed at Gloria's family invites you to read more about Gloria, her family and enjoy family photos and history at

Upcoming Funeral Services
Committal & Inurnment

Memorial Park Cemetery-Chapel

2435 Territorial Road Battle Creek, MI 49015