WILLIAM HENRY OLER
William Henry "Bill" Oler was born on October 1, 1923, in Brightwaters, New York, to Imogene Mary Rubel, age 28, and Wesley Marion Oler, age 31. In Rye his family lived at 275 Boston Post Road. Bill served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.
Bill graduated from Yale University with the Class of 1945, finishing in 1948 after service in World War II. Like others of his era, while at Yale he joined the U. S. Marine Corps. and was stationed in the South Pacific serving with the First Battalion, Tenth Marines Second Marine Division. View Muster Rolls
Bill was a 2nd Lieutenant and participated in the 2nd Marine Division occupation of the southern island of Kyushu. He was honorably October 22, 1946 after spending almost a year overseas.
View Discharge Record
Bill married Jeanne Elizabeth Harold in New Haven, New York, on January 4, 1947, when he was 23 years old. They would have four children during their marriage
After finishing up at Yale, Bill went to work for the Hauck Manufacturing Company, where he spent time in Brooklyn, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Pa., Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Mich. He left Hauck to become vice president of sales for the Okonite Company based in Passaic, N.J. and later moved to General Felt Industries as senior vice president when Okonite was acquired by General Felt Industries. Bill finished his career as vice president of Knoll International, after Knoll acquired General Felt Industries.
After retiring from Knoll International, Bill became president of the Carpet Cushion Council, a trade association servicing the floor covering industry, until his second retirement in 2006. Bill always had a particular interest in education. He served as trustee of his alma mater, the Trinity Pawling School for 20 years. In addition, he was active in the affairs of Yale University, and was the recipient of the Yale Medal, Yale's highest honor. Bill was secretary of his Yale class for 15 years and served as the president of the Yale Alumni Association of Greenwich, where he received the Centennial Medal in 2001, presented by the President of Yale University. He also was the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award to Yale for the Yale Science and Engineering Association. Bill was also active locally.
He was a member of Innis Arden Golf Club for more than 50 years, having served on the Board of Governors for 10 years and as its president for two years. In August 2009, Bill was made an Honorary Lifetime Member of Innis Arden. Bill loved the game of golf and he traveled with friends to play Scotland's Royal and Ancient courses including The Old Course at St Andrew, Troon and Muirfield, in addition to Spain's best southern and northern courses. Music has always been a big force in Bill's world. While at Yale, he sang in the Yale a cappella male singing group, the Whiffenpoofs. He went on to receive the Yale Glee Club Medal and was the first recipient of the Yale Whiffenpoof Cup. Also, upon arrival in Greenwich in 1957, Bill co-founded The Offsounders, a singing group in Riverside and Old Greenwich that is still active.
William Henry "Bill" Oler of Old Greenwich, passed away Friday, August 28, 2009. He lived with his wife of 62 years, Jeanne Harold Oler in Old Greenwich for more than 50 years. Jeanne Oler passed away in October 2008.
At the time of his death, Bill was survived by his four children, William H. Oler III (and Cindy Knowles Oler) of Cleveland, Ohio, Peter H. Oler (and Joanne Oler) of Greensboro and Sunset Beach, N.C., Amy Oler Greenberg of Stamford and Imogene Oler Altznauer (and Greg Altznauer) of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He was survived by his five grandchildren, Rachel Oler Franco (and Chris Franco) of Greenwich, Rick Weber and Emily Oler of Chagrin Falls, Ohio and Samantha and Maximilian Altznauer of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He was survived by three great-grandchildren, Maddie, Grant and Turner Franco of Greenwich. He was also survived by his brother, The Rev. Clarke K. Oler (and Wendy Oler) of Pasadena, Calif., and many loving nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was be held Thursday, September 3 at the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich.
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