Carol Lynn Olinger

Carol Lynn Olinger, 75, of Clear Lake died peacefully Saturday, March 2, 2024, at her home surrounded by her loving family.

A celebration of life visitation will be held from 1-3 p.m., with a remembrance service at 2 p.m., on Saturday, March 30, at the Clear Lake VFW, 219 Main Ave, Clear Lake; with Mark Doebel leading the service.  The family invites those to share in a luncheon following.  Inurnment will be held at a later date.

Carol was born Nov. 23, 1948; the daughter of Shirley D. and Mildred E. Kiefer in Mason City. She graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1967. While attending high school she met the love of her life, Ellery L. Olinger. They were united in marriage on Oct. 2, 1967. The couple moved to Frankfurt, Germany; where Ellery was stationed in the military. 

Carol worked on and off in her parent’s flower shop for many years, while Ellery was building them a beautiful home. Carol worked at Unisys from 1980 – 1991, then went to work for Uni-Select in Mason City; starting as a parts picker then became known as “Catalog Carol” when she took that position. Carol worked until her retirement in 2015.

Carol had so many special life-long friends, her Tuesday night bowling, Thursday volleyball; all were family to her. The Winter Dance Party was another yearly occasion she enjoyed, where The Calendar Girls, loved to perform. Special family and friend vacations were adored, traveling to Las Vegas, Apple River, Lake Okoboji, and National Cattle Congress, where she was able to enjoy music and food that she relished!

Carol and Ellery cherished their weekend trips; unsurprisingly a casino was always involved! They looked forward to their fall trips along the Mississippi River and looking at the beautiful fall colors and apple orchards. Carol’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will fondly remember, the numerous trips to the Wisconsin Dells during the winter.

Carol is survived by her husband, Ellery L. Olinger; children, Buffy (Warren) Heyman, Matthew (Mary) Olinger; grandchildren, Lauren (Ryan) Henderson, Hunter Olinger, Regatta (Brandon) Wade, Hailey Pendergrass, Thorson (Kyra) Olinger; great-grandchildren, Ryker, Rowen and Reno Henderson, Weston and Owen Olinger; siblings, Kenneth (Terry) Kiefer and Camille (Jim) Patterson; along with several other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Cheryl Kiefer; mother-in-law, Ruth Olinger; father- in- law, Kenneth Olinger; and stepmother- in- law, Janice Olinger. 

The family would like to extend a grateful thank you to “My Happy Haven” for creating a comfortable space for Carol; they would also like to thank, St. Croix Hospice for the love and care they gave to Carol.

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, is in charge of arrangements.


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

12 N. 4th St.
Clear Lake, IA 50428
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