Olen's Story

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Olen C. Nantz, age 86, of Whitaker Street, Morehead, passed away Thursday, April 20, 2017, at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead.

Born April 10, 1931, in Harlan, he was a son of the late Hobert Nantz, Sr., and Mary Farley Osborne. He was also preceded in death by one brother, Tommy Osborne.

Olen's wife of 41 years, Olive Madge Fannin Nantz, whom he married March 31, 1972, passed away on Aug. 19, 2013.

He is survived by two daughters, Vicki (Paul) Anderson of Morehead and Connie (Denny) Pace of Harlan; one son, Brian Nantz of Morehead; two stepsons, Delmer (Rhonda) Hall and Robert (Sandy Cline) Hall of Morehead; one stepdaughter, Pamela Hall Evans of Nicholasville; eight grandchildren, Sarah, Rhianna, Deanna, Brandon, Matt, Chris, Abby, and Amy; and nine great grandchildren.

He also leaves behind one brother, Hobert Nantz, Jr., of Elizabethtown, as well as nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Olen joined the U.S. Army in 1946 (when he was 15 years of age) and retired in 1972. He served during World War II, the Korean War and was twice wounded in the Vietnam War. He transferred from Fort Derussy Army Base in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Morehead State University, where he spent his last three years before his retirement as an instructor in the R.O.T.C. program.

Sergeant First Class Nantz was the recipient of the following awards: two awards of Combat Infantry Badge, Commendation Medal, 2 Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, WW II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Korean Service Medal with two Campaign Stars, United Nations Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, European Occupation Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, and Soldier of the Year. A lifelong patriot, he was Past Commander and member of Morehead American Legion Post 126.

Following his retirement from the military, Olen was a salesman for Stanley Pontiac, Cornett Wellman and Larry Fannin Chevrolet, all in Morehead. He and Madge also owned and operated the Dixie Grill for a number of years. Olen was a member of Morehead Masonic Lodge No. 654 and attended the House of Prayer. He was an avid sports enthusiast and hunter.

Funeral services were conducted 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals Memorial Chapel with Pastor Joe Cline officiating. Burial was in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens with full military honors presented by Morehead American Legion Post 126. Legion members also served as pallbearers. Grandsons served as honorary pallbearers.

Visitation was 6 p.m. Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals in Morehead.

View memorial tribute or sign guestbook at www.northcuttandson.com
Published on April 24, 2017
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