Olden Edwards Paris

By From page A4 | October 20, 2013


d. Sept. 20, 2013

Dr. Olden Edwards Paris passed away on Sept. 20, 2013, at the age of 85. Olden was born in Tacoma, Wash., in October, 1927, to the late Louis Olden and Cathryn Beers Paris. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle in 1945. While his mother worked at a navy yard repairing aircaraft during World War II, Olden assumed the role of cook for the family of six. A high school pastime was carving wood models of World War II aircraft, work so accomplished that his models were used to educate civil aircraft spotters.

Paris graduated from Harvard University in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry. He sang with the Harvard Glee Club. The highlight of this time was performing with the Boston Symphony under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky. Awarded his Ph.D. in organic polymer chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1953, Olden worked as a research chemist for the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware. He worked in the area of rocket propellants and explosives.

Choral music continued to be a passion for Olden through his life: most notably as a membr of the Orpehus Men’s Chorus in Wilmingon. While in college Olden met his first wife Alice Leila Blue whom he married in 1950. They had three children together: Cathy, David and Stephen.

Olden left Wilmington for Columbus, Ohio, in 1970 to work for Chemical Abstract Service, for whom he prepared abstracts of patents in organic polymer chemistry published in English, French and German. He worked for CAS until his retirment in 2009. He joined the Columbus Symphony Chorus of which he was an active member for 39 years. One of his proudest moments was singing at Carnegie Hall with the Chorus in 2001. He also performed in Aida and The Magic Flute with the Columbus Symphoy Opera.

Olden met his second wife Gail Davenport in Columbus where they married in 1973. Olden was a devoted stepfather to Gail’s three children: George, Eric and Kathryn, whom he loved as his own. Olden lost Gail to cancer in 1988, having cared for her faithfully during her months of illness.

In 2006, Olden married Myrna Jean Marple of Davis. Their special friendship had begun at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. In October 2009, the couple moved from Columbus to Davis, living at the University Retirement Community.

Olden is survived by his wife Myrna Paris; his brother Daniel and sister-in-law, Frances Howes Paris of Portland, Maine; sister-in-law Eleanor Paris of Frederick, Md. Also surviving are daughter Cathy Paris and family in Jerico, Vermont; son David of Columbus and daughter-in-law Elaine Brill Paris, also of Columbus; stepdaughter Kathryn Verwillow and family of Palo Alto; Eric Ver Ploeg and family of Menlo Park; step-son George Noel and family of Long View, Texas; step-sons Alan Woodhead and wife Shelly of West Sacramento, Jeffrey Woodhead of Davis; niece Susan Paris and family of South Portalnd, Maine; niece Bonnie Paris of Portalnd, Maine and nephew, Danny Paris and wife Patti of Anchorage, Alaska. Olden was predeceased by his brother Troxell of Seattle and his son Stephen of Columbus, Ohio.

Olden was a man of incredible warmth, courtesy and humanity. He will be dearly missed by his friends and family. Olden’s life was celebrated by two memorial gatherings: one in Columbus, Ohio and the other on October 19 at the University Retirement Community.

Memorials in his memory may be sent to your local Alzheimer’s Association or the University Retirement Community Foundation: 1515 Shasta Drive, Davis, Ca.

Special to The Enterprise

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