American Veteran 01

Olan W Openlander

December 13, 1930 ~ January 30, 2020 (age 89)


Olan “Wayne” Openlander, 89, of Auburn, Indiana, died Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, at Saint Anne Home and Retirement Community in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Wayne was born on Dec. 13, 1930, in Auburn, a son of the late Olan Lee and Georgia L. Openlander.

Wayne was a 1949 graduate of Auburn High School and also a graduate of Elkhart College, with a radiology degree.

Wayne was a United States Air Force veteran, serving during the Korean War from 1950-1953.

He married Barbara Moss on July 31, 1955, in Waterloo, Indiana, and she preceded him in death.

Wayne spent most of his life as a tool and die pattern maker.

He is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Brenda and Jeff Freese, of Auburn, and Lori and Allen Patee, of Auburn; son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Jewel Openlander, of Waterloo; grandchildren, Alexis “Lexie” (Chad) Voglewede, of Fort Wayne, Lydia Freese, of Auburn, Ryan Openlander, of Auburn, and Erica (Heath) Moynahan, of Garrett; great-grandchildren, Makayla Skelly, Parker Skelly, Lexie Moynahan, Corbin Moynahan, Brody Moynahan, Reis Openlander, Mitchell Voglewede, Mason Voglewede, and Evelyn Voglewede; brother-in-law, Tony Angelo, of Boulder, Colorado; nieces, Cheryl Ferguson, of Fort Wayne, and Michelle (Victor) Ordonez, of Colorado; and nephews, Richard Snyder, of Florida, John Snyder, of Fort Wayne, and Michael (Shonya) Angelo, of Colorado.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; parents, Olan and Georgia Openlander; father-in-law, Ralph Moss; mother-in-law, Maureen Moss; brother, Lee Openlander; sisters, Gloria Snyder, Rose Angelo, Sally Openlander, and Waunita Openlander; and a nephew, James Snyder.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, with visitation from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Pinnington Funeral & Cremation Services, 502 N. Main St., Auburn.

The Rev. Andy Grimes will be officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana.

Burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery, Auburn.

Life Story of Olan Wayne Openlander

Wayne Openander was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. A caring nurturer, he cherished his years as a father and was delighted with the arrival of his grandchildren. Living his life to the fullest and enjoying the company of each and every person who came his way, he leaves behind a wonderful example of accepting all people with compassion. Wayne’s warm personality will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

The year 1930 was significantly impacted by the effects of the Great Depression. Banks were still closed but there was a promise of a new election year awaiting. During the middle of one of the toughest decades in American history, Olan Lee and Georgia L. Openander welcomed home the arrival of their newborn son, Olan Wayne, on December 13th in Auburn, Indiana. Born one of six children, his birth brought much joy to the family during tough economic times.

Wayne lived a typical childhood of the times. His father, who was a veteran of WWI, owned and operated an automotive business while his mother remained home to care for the children. Raised with a strong Christian foundation, Wayne was forever blessed by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Luckily for him and his siblings, his grandparents owned a dairy and ice cream store in Auburn and he enjoyed spending his time there supporting customers and sampling the goods as a young child!

Active as a teen, he played basketball on his church team as well as the local YMCA teams. Wayne learned the tools of the trade for working on cars from spending much of his adolescence at his father’s shop. He also enjoyed fishing and spending time with his pet dogs. Graduating with the Class of 1949 from Auburn High School, he set off to complete a degree in Radiology from Elkhart College. Eager to serve his country, he served with the United States Air Force from 1950-1953. Active during the Korean War, he was assigned as a soldier in the medical corp. He often reflected fondly on this time period in his life.

Back home from the service, he met the love of his life, Barbara, at a local square dance. They hit it off right from the start and began dating from that night on. The Waterloo United Methodist Church was the perfect setting for their July 31, 1955 wedding ceremony. It was a beautiful summer day and the reception was held on Barbara’s parents farm north of Auburn. Together they raised three wonderful children; Brenda, Lori, and Eric. He and Barbara shared their love of the Lord with the children by reading Bible verses to them as well as attending church services regularly where Wayne served as a deacon and an elder. Active as a father, Wayne enjoyed chaperoning their marching band trips and celebrating their many special events over the years. A strong provider, Wayne worked primarily as a tool and die maker to support his family. When it came time for relaxation, they enjoyed vacationing together often heading to Colorado to visit relatives. Holidays were always made to be special as Wayne cherished these moments with his family. His heart was full for any amount of time they were gathered together.

During his life, Wayne shared many special pastimes. He loved to listen to WOWO radio and watch The Andy Griffith Show. He also built birdhouses over the years. When he was blessed with grandchildren, he was over the moon! He enjoyed attending many of their special school events and celebrated their every success! Wayne favored the season of fall where he was known to treat himself to the popular pumpkin spice lattes!

Above all else, he lived a life of service. Wayne volunteered for The Council on Aging, Hospice, as well as volunteered at JR Watson Elementary School on the playground. He was well-loved by the staff and students alike! A proud moment was when he was recently awarded volunteer of the year for Northeast Indiana! Kind beyond measure, Wayne lived his life as a loving example of the teachings of Jesus. May his special family and many friends always feel his presence in their lives as they continue on without his physical presence. A special person to know and love, there is no doubt that his constant love and guidance will be missed in the years to come.

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 Service Program


February 3, 2020

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Pinnington Funeral &!

Funeral Service
February 3, 2020

1:00 PM

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