James Howard Olk was born December 18, 1924 in Neenah, WI, the son of the late Harold and Claribel (Hastings) Olk. He was raised in Clintonville and was a lifelong member of St. Rose Catholic Church, Clintonville. He attended St. Rose School and graduated from Clintonville High School in 1942. He attended the University Of Wisconsin School Of Pharmacy from 1942 to 1943 and then served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a staff sergeant in the European Theatre for two years during WWII, being honorably discharged in August 1945. He returned to the UW School of Pharmacy, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in June 1948. He then became employed at Olk Drug Store in Clintonville working for his father, and in 1955 became co-owner with his brother, Harold C. Olk. On June 9, 1951 Jay married Bernice Helen Durben at St. Rose Catholic Church, Clintonville. Five children followed. As a member of St. Rose, Jay was an active participant. He was a mass server, sang in the pre-Vatican II Latin mass adult choir, and was a lector and Eucharistic Minister. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion Post #63, Clintonville, and the Riverside Golf Course. Jay enjoyed reading, working crossword puzzles, watching TV, and following the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Wisconsin Badgers.
Survivors include: his wife of 65 years, Bernice D. Olk; his children: Frederick J. Olk, Cicero, IL; Elizabeth O. (Andrew) Borchardt, Redgranite; Stephen Olk, Appleton; William Olk, Clintonville; Dr. Douglas G. (Marilyn) Olk, Dubuque, IA; grandchildren: Gregory Olk, Rochester, MN; Rachel Olk, Madison, and Michael Olk, Dubuque, IA; sisters-in-law, Marjorie Olk, Dorothy M. Peplinski, and Bernadette M. Bittner and many nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Harold C. Olk, and brother-in-law, Norbert Peplinski.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 16, 2016 at St. Rose Catholic Church, Clintonville with the Rev. John “Jack” Mullarkey officiating. Interment will follow at St. Rose Catholic Cemetery, Clintonville. Military honor rites will be conducted by the VFW Post #664, American Legion Post #63, and American Legion Aux. Unit #63, all of Clintonville. Friends may call on Saturday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory, Clintonville is assisting his family. An online guestbook is available at eberhardtstevenson.com.
Jay’s family would like to express their appreciation to the doctors, nurses and medical facilities that cared for him.