Barbara Allyn Harvey Olcott



Barbara Allyn Harvey Olcott was born in Readfield, Maine, on October 30, 1931 and died November 2, 2017 in Cape Fear Medical Center. She was raised in Lakeville, CT and graduated as Salutatorian at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. She graduated in 1953 cum laude with a double major in Chemistry and Secondary Education and a double minor in Mathematics and Physics from what is now Central Connecticut State University.

Barbara received a Teaching Fellowship in Chemistry at the University of Michigan where she met her husband Tom, also a Teaching Fellow in Chemistry. They were married on December 30, 1953. She continued teaching until the birth of their oldest child in 1955. However, she persevered and twenty-five years later obtained her Master’s Degree in Math Education at the University of West Virginia and began teaching math and science in junior and senior high schools. After moving to Fayetteville in 1979, she taught Math at Methodist College.

After almost 64 years of a successful and loving marriage, Barbara is survived by her husband Tom, their four children, Kathryn Olcott of Dunedin, New Zealand, Richard Olcott of Parkersburg , WV, Patricia Shaw of Southlake, TX, and Sandra Proshek of Rosemount, MN, six grandchildren, one great grandson, and her brother Vergne Harvey of Catawba, NC.

Throughout her life, Barbara was very active in the Girl Scouts and a water safety advocate and trainer of Water Safety Instructors for the Red Cross. In 1985, she was the Cumberland Red Cross Volunteer of the Year for “Appreciation for Water Safety Services”. She was Regent for the Liberty Point Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and was responsible for developing and instituting their annual American Flag Retirement Ceremony that to this day, involves other patriotic organizations.
Barbara was active in many other community organizations and activities. She was a charter member in several organizations locally including Cape Fear Studios, Cumberland Oratorio Singers, and Cumberland County Republican Women’s Club. She was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and taught Sunday school and sang in the choir.

A memorial service with reception afterward will be held on November 18 at 2PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church Sanctuary in Fayetteville on Village Drive. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory should be made to the Music Ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2505 Village Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28304.