Nancy Oliver of Schoharie, who died tragically last Wednesday in a house fire, is being remembered for her skill with a needle and in the kitchen as well as for her generosity:
When the Green Shirts arrived to help Schoharie recover from Hurricane Irene in 2012, Ms. Oliver and her husband, Ron, offered up their home as a place for them to stay.
The Schoharie Reformed Church, where Ms, Oliver was the go-to volunteer in the kitchen and at events like the Gas-Up, has set up the Oliver Family Fund in her memory and to help her husband and son, Trent, as they move forward.
Donations can be made online through PayPal at SRC.org or mailed to the Oliver Family Fund, c/o Schoharie Reformed Church, PO Box 635, Schoharie NY 12157. Put “Oliver Family” in the memo line.
Ms. Oliver, 74, died Wednesday, September 29.
She’d been on oxygen for the past several years and it’s believed exploding oxygen tanks led to the intensity of the blaze.
An investigation is continuing.
Flames kept neighbors and firefighters from being able to enter the 385 Main Street home to get to Ms. Oliver; within 20 minutes, the second floor of the home collapsed.
Later Wednesday the home was torn down for safety reasons. It now sits in a pile of rubble.
Son Trent Oliver, who was staying in the home at the time, is staying nearby; Ron Oliver was in the hospital, getting ready to go into rehab.
“They were a very old family,” said Sarah Goodrich, a member of the Schoharie Reformed Church who also knew Ms. Oliver from her help after Irene.
“It’s a difficult loss in so many ways. They’d been out of circulation for the last few years because of health reasons, but that makes it all the more important to remember Nancy. She will be missed.”
Like many in the community, Ms. Goodrich remembered Ms. Oliver as a seamstress always at the ready to stitch up a costume for school plays in both Middleburgh and Schoharie and for the Timothy Murphy Players.
Any time there was a funeral at the church, she organized the food, Ms. Goodrich said, and the Olivers ran the SRC’s refreshment booth at the Gas-Up for years.
They were living across the street in a smaller home when Irene hit—Ms. Oliver was born in the house that burned—and offered it up to the Green Shirts.
“They were very giving people,” Ms. Goodrich said.
In addition to cash donations, the SRC is also accepting clothing for the two men: XL shirts, 36-x-29 pants and size 8-9 shoes for Trent; medium athletic wear for Ron.
They can be left at SRC’s Heritage House next to the church.