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Odi Olivas--Then and Now
by Helen Morris

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The following information was taken from an article published in The Calhoun Chronicle in March of 1978:

Odi Olivas was one of the first two males to attend W.Va. Future Homemakers of America State Leadership Conference, and was the first selected for the W.Va. Lena M. Charter award. He received it because of his leadership on several projects for the Family Living class.

The projects included research in working with kindergarten-age children, such as preparing nutritious foods (like liver) so small children would eat it, directing play, and learning activities with classmates.

With his classmates, he planned and directed a Christmas party for the students at Colin Anderson Center, St. Marys. It provided an opportunity for the students to work with mentally challenged students. He was also chairman of the March of Dimes fund drive, because the money collected would go toward research to prevent birth defects.

Odi Olivas in 1978

Odi wrote and directed a short presentation for the Family Living class. It told of a family problem when a 15 year old daughter announces to her parents that she is pregnant. Emphasis was placed on healthy babies in the next generation, prevention of birth defects, and solutions to problems which students faced.

When he presented a pie to board members that he prepared in the Singles Living class, he was asked to comment on the class: “Males should be taking home economics because you’ll be on your own some day and we are all makers of homes.”

Odi Olivas has been home-making ever since he was five: “In our home, everyone started cooking at a young age. We helped clean house too. That’s the way Philippino families do things. This class is superb. It’s something you need if you are going to college. Guys that are planning to be on their own after graduation should take this course. We get the basics on the art of living.”

He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Odilon Olivas. He has lived in the U.S. for six years, coming from the Philippines with his family. He received his U.S. citizenship last fall.

*      *      *      *

Now, 31 years later, in July 2009, we decided to follow up on Odi.

He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Maria, who is a director of home health nursing. They have three children: Jonathan, who is in medical school; Christine, who attends Old Dominion University; and Oliver, who is a high school senior.

When Odi left Calhoun, he graduated from WVU with a degree in secondary education. He then enrolled in medical school in the Philippines.

When he made the choice to get married and had to start supporting his family, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman. Later, he was a medic with the U.S. Marines and served in the Mediterranean, Spain, and parts of Europe.

After discharge, he began his teaching career with Virginia Beach City Public School System and has been employed there for 20 years. He received a masters degree from Old Dominion, with an endorsement in education administration.

He is active with the WVU alumni chapter in Hampton Roads, and keeps in touch with some of his friends from Calhoun. He has used his home-making skills in his personal life and the interest in working with young people is still perpetuated in his teaching profession.

Some of Odi’s former FHA friends still remember when he would go to Cedar Lakes with them. They say that he was a welcome addition. They all have good memories of the adventures shared in the Family Living class and the Future Homemakers of America.

Odi Olivas in 2009


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