Leonard C. "Curly" Olney passed away Saturday morning (July 20, 2002) at his home in McCook.
Curly was born on June 12, 1922, to Henry W. and Sophia (Petitjean) Olney at Hollinger, Neb. He grew up on the family farm southwest of Stamford, Neb. and graduated from the Stamford High School in 1939. In 1938, he was a representative member of the first Boys State class of Nebraska.
Curly served in the 609th International Harvester Ordinance in the European Theater from 1942 through 1945. He was recalled to the Korean Conflict in 1950 and 1951. He received the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Stars. Curly was married to Betty Jo Sell on May 29, 1946, at Hiawatha, Kan. They moved to Lincoln where he attended the University of Nebraska, graduating in August of 1949, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. After graduating he worked for the IH dealer in Hastings. He had 14 years of employment with the Motor Truck Division with the IH Company, as a parts traveler, zone manager, and branch manager in Grand Island and Omaha before moving to McCook when he purchased the local dealership on February 15, 1968. He opened his second dealership in Imperial in 1984. He retired July 1, 1985, and continued as a consultant for the two dealerships.
He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, member of the Elks Lodge and Eagles Lodge. Health permitting he was an avid golfer, hunter and fisherman; in recent years he played a lot of cards.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother Vincent. Leaving to mourn his passing is his devoted wife, Betty Jo, of 56 years; one sister, Susan Rhynalds of Newark, Del.; two nephews, Timothy Rhynalds and wife, Vicki, of Queenstown, Md. and William Rhynalds and wife, Donna, of Bishopville, Md.; brother-in-law, Bob Sell and wife, Helen, of Stamford; two nieces, Robin Sell of Stamford and Rita Bentley and husband, Roger, of McCook; along with other relatives and many friends.
Memorials will be used for a monument to honor past, present, and future veterans to be placed in the Stamford Cemetery.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, July 24, 2002, at 10 a.m. at the McCook Memorial United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Thurman officiating. Burial will be at the Stamford Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. with military honors.
Visitation will be held at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home on Monday, July 22, until 5 p.m. and Tuesday, July 23, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. A private family flower service will be at 7:30 p.m.