Dorothy Margaret Olmstead, beloved wife of the late Guy Edward Olmstead, passed away peacefully at West Park Lodge in Red Deer, AB. Born in Lethbridge, AB, Dorothy moved to Irvine with her parents at an early age and received much of her education there. In 1940, Dorothy went to Toronto, ON, where she studied piano and organ at the Royal Conservatory of Music, graduating with an A.R.C.T. Diploma. Returning to Medicine Hat, she established her own music studio and became a member of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (A.R.M.T.A.). Dorothy taught on the staff of the Medicine Hat College Music Department for five years prior to her retirement in 1976. On December 11, 1948, she married Guy Olmstead and the couple remained in Medicine Hat until 2000, when they moved to Red Deer. Dorothy was well known as an accompanist for the Rotary Music Festival and she was an active member of Fifth Avenue United Church where she served as a choir member and assistant organist. She was an accompanist for the Medicine Hat Musical Theatre and for many local soloists and was the staff organist for Cook’s Funeral Home for many years. Dorothy was also the organist and Choir Director at Westminster United Church. She was a charter member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and celebrated her 65th year as a member when she lived in Red Deer. Dorothy was predeceased by her parents, Robert Harold and Margaret Florence (nee Gray) Davidson; and her husband, Guy Olmstead. She will be remembered with love by her sons, Robert Calvin Olmstead (Anne Findlay) and Douglas Edward (Linda) Olmstead; her grandchildren, Raegen Olmstead, Carmen (Glen) Clarke, Scott Olmstead (Krystel Pe Benito), and Kailey and Amanda Larson; her great grandchildren, Kiera, Kayden, Sydney, and Hunter Clarke. Dorothy will also be missed by her extended family of nieces and nephews, especially Lexy Fisher and Sonya Johnson, as well as many dear friends, including Joyce Condon and Judy Shand. Dorothy’s family would like to sincerely thank the exceptional staff at West Park Lodge (Choices in Community Living) for their loving care and the residents for their friendship; Dr. Willem Myburgh for his compassion and her community at Sunnybrook United Church in Red Deer. We thank Judy Shand from the bottom of our hearts for her friendship, time spent with Dorothy and for her love and guidance. If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Dorothy’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice. A Celebration of Dorothy’s life will be held at Cook Southland Funeral Chapel, 901 - 13 Street S.W., Medicine Hat, on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with interment to follow at Hillside Cemetery.
We are truly saddened to hear that The Big O has passed on, although know that the coffee pot is on in heaven and Dorothy, Guy, Andrew & Irene are having the best visit. So many wonderful memories are swirling in our minds, xox. Love to you all!
I was saddened to read of Dorothy's passing. She was part of a generation that enriched the lives of so many Medicine Hatters - through her music but more significantly through her gentle loving nature. We have been fortunate to share parts of her journey for so many years.
Dear Olmstead Family;
Thinking of you at this time as we remember your remarkable mother. She and I officiated at many funerals. I also remember your father from whom I would get milk at the dairy for the Elkwater U C Camp. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
(The Rev.) Richard C. Worden
I would like to extend heartfelt sympathies to all on the passing of Mrs Olmstead. I was fortunate to learn much during the years I had piano lessons with her, although I may have been a wee source of frustration at times due to my preference for sports over piano practicing. In later years, we were thrilled to have her and Guy visit our home once they moved to Red Deer. Mom and Dad always looked forward to the wonderful visits we would arrange whenever they made it to Red Deer as well. I shall always remember her with a smile and cherish many memories of joy and friendship.
Dorothy was a very special woman. Loving, strong, capable and a wonderful musician. She was a gift to her family and to the community. Sending love and hugs from Diane and Barb Gretsinger. Even though Mom and Dad are no longer here, I know they would also want me to send their condolences to each of you. Dorothy was a favourite of theirs too!
Dorothy was a wonderful person and will be so missed by her family and many friends. My husband Harold and I both counted it an honor to know her and Guy.
She was an exceptional musician and a gracious, loving caring lady.
With my sincere sympathy to her family.
I just want to express my sincere condolences on Dorothy's passing. I got to know her through Sunnybrook and loved her dearly. She was a close friend with my Auntie Doris Peck and will be so sadly missed. They sat together in church every Sunday and enjoyed their time together at church, in the community and at Phil's Pancake House for special meals with Alana and Vern Lowe who drove them together every Sunday. I will miss the great conversations with Dorothy at coffee and especially our shared love of music. When little kids banged on the piano in the church basement it nearly drove her around the bend and if someone even sang slightly off key she heard it. She was always gracious however but such was her talent and her ear. A blessing to be sure! I first heard about Dorothy when I attended the Red Deer College music program as a fellow student with you Bob. It was such a pleasure to finally meet the woman and Mom you spoke so fondly of. Condolences to everyone and warm hugs. She will be missed.
Love Kathy XO