Caring for People, Making a Difference.
Obituary of Stephanie Buchanan Olivo
West Sand Lake - Stephanie B. Olivo (80) A virtuous prayer- warrior, servant of Jesus Christ has passed over to be fully alive in the presence of her Lord after being ill for several months with leukemia. Stephanie was a beloved wife, daughter, mother of 7 and grandmother of 12 who was multi-talented yet humble, beautiful inside and out, adventurous, and servant-hearted. She was born in San Antonio, TX three days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the only child of adoring parents, Elnora Buchanan, a librarian, and the Reverend C.Wayne Buchanan, an Episcopal minister. She spent her childhood in Texas and moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas for junior and senior high school. In high school, she was selected for the National Honor Society, won the National Freedom Foundation essay contest, and read an original essay as a contestant in the Miss Hot Springs Pageant. During the summers, she attended Camp Mitchell, a Christian camp, first as a camper and later as a counselor. She also had a variety of jobs during this period, including working as a daycare assistant, a dress shop assistant, and a hostess at the Arlington Hotel. Stephanie returned to Texas for college, attending the Honors program at University of Texas in Austin where she earned a degree in English, participated in drama, and joined Pi Beta Phi sorority. While at UT, she represented her university at the National Leadership Training Lab in Bethel, ME, and, as a member of the Student Union, she served as the Charm Committee Chairperson as well as in other roles. She also managed the Miss Austin Beauty Pageant. After college Stephanie worked as an indexer for both Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas Press, and Wadsworth Press. She moved to College Station, TX to become a graduate student in Parks and Recreation and the editor of the college catalog at Texas A&M. During that time period she played piano and taught Sunday School at St. David’s Episcopal Church where she also co-founded the elementary church school. While working at A&M, Stephanie met Tom Olivo whom she married in April, 1973. Stephanie and Tom both had children from previous marriages and when they married they created a beautiful blended family with their four older daughters, Tracy, Alicia, Jenny and J.J., who were ages 8, 8, 7, and 6 respectively and added three more to the family with Amanda, Katie, and Jeremy. The family moved from College Station TX to Islip, NY, Brightwaters/Bayshore, NY, Keowee, SC and finally to West Sand Lake, NY in 1979 where she lived until her passing. Despite living in all those places, she still considered herself a Texan at heart. In addition to being a mother, she worked as a church administrator; school secretary; indexer/editor/owner of Olivo Press, working on a wide variety of books from ancient Scottish/Welsh culture, to Math, Physics, and Blueprint Reading. Her other jobs included being a home-schooler and owner operator of Wool ‘n Word wool/fiber arts and Christian bookstore in West Sand Lake, often balancing several roles simultaneously. In addition, she volunteered for many years at Four Doors Down (now Doors of Hope) food pantry and thrift store. Stephanie was an accomplished musician playing the piano, and mountain dulcimer. She especially enjoyed leading folk songs, telling campfire stories, and accompanying family Christmas carols. She also used her musical talents in the church worship band at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Troy, NY. Over the years, Stephanie attended other local churches, including Cornerstone Christian Church, Delmar Full Gospel, and West Stephentown Baptist Church. She facilitated multiple women’s Bible studies, served as a leader in the local Cursillo movement, and organized/led knitting groups, classes, and retreats. She made many new and valued friends in each of those settings. Stephanie’s many hobbies included watching classic vintage movies, reading, writing, knitting, spinning wool, basket weaving, canoeing, gardening, and playing board/card games with family and friends. Additionally, she enjoyed searching for and identifying wild mushrooms and plants, attending folk music and dance performances, as well as the Scottish Games. Hospitality was yet another of Stephanie’s many gifts which she demonstrated by opening their historic 1790s house to family, fellow church members, college students, friends and those in need, whether it be a bed for a night or a safe place for months. Likewise, she often hosted family and friends at their cabin at Wakonda Family Campground on the Schroon River, a place that was close to her heart. She adored many pets in her lifetime, including Storm, her companion in recent years when she was less able to socialize. During the time she owned Wool ‘N Word, she raised several sheep in the backyard which gave her great satisfaction and joy, especially as she used their wool for spinning, knitting and felting. Stephanie was proud of her Scottish heritage and was thrilled to visit Scotland with Tom in 2000, creating many fond memories there together. Many of her children embraced this part of their heritage as well and enjoy wearing Buchanan plaid. She loved her friend and savior Jesus Christ most of all, followed closely by her family who will miss her dearly. Stephanie is survived by her loving husband of 47 years, Tom Olivo, as well as her seven children: Tracy Dunn (Steve) of Poestenkill, NY; Alicia Lowe (Kelly) of Castle Hayne, NC; Jennifer Ebanks (Richard) of El Lago, TX; Jennifer (JJ) Achman (Eric), of Marilla, NY; Amanda Olivo-Vukovic (Joe) of Troy, NY; Katie Howe (Andy) of East Greenbush, NY; and Jeremy Olivo of Guilderland, NY. She also leaves behind 12 grandchildren: Jessica Ebanks:, Zachary, Christy, and Timothy Dunn; Felicia and Lucas Achman; Kaleb Johnson; Erika Olivo-Vukovic; Emma and Ethan Howe; and Orah and Gianna Olivo (Kristen). A memorial service for Stephanie will be held in the Spring. Her ashes will be scattered among the spring bluebonnets in the Hill Country of Texas. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Stephanie B. Olivo to the Community Hospice (Gift Processing Center) 310 S. Manning Blvd, Albany, NY 12208. Arrangements have been entrusted to Simple Choices, Inc. Cremation Service. To leave a special message for the family, please visit: SimpleChoicesCremation.com