Born: 27 Jun 1942
Died: 21 Dec 2015
At the age of: 73
Spouse: Janis Anne Hawkins Warr
MALTA | Olene K. Warr, 73, of Malta, passed away unexpectedly, Monday, December 21, 2015, at his home.
Born in Albion, Idaho, on June 27, 1942, Olene spent his earliest years in a one-room “shack” with his mother, Chloe Bell Warr, and father, Charles Heiner Warr, and sister, Beverly, on their farm in Malta, Idaho. They had just purchased their sagebrush-covered land which lay along the Raft River and had to “grub” the brush off by hand. That little “shack” still sits just south of the home where Olene grew up on Keough Lane. Their original 60-acre farm irrigated from the Raft River is now part of 1,300 acres irrigated by 13 pivots with water from deep wells. During the years it became Charles Warr & Sons with Olene, his father, and his brother, Melvin “Skeet” in a partnership; then, with his father’s illness it became Warr Brothers; and now it is Warr Farms, until recently owned and operated by Olene and his son, Jason. Olene was supposed to be retired-if working 16-hour days sounds like retirement! Jason and his son, Kaleb, are taking the farm to new heights in a booming farm economy.
Olene graduated from Raft River High School in Malta, Idaho, in 1960 where he was an outstanding basketball player (his single-game scoring record of 42 points stood for many years). His team won the district tournament in 1958-59. He continued his education at Utah State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Social Studies. Although he kept his certification in force until he turned 62 years old, he never taught full-time, but served as the number one “sub” for several schools in the county. He pursued his love of basketball while coaching high school teams for 14 years-a very successful coach who said there was nothing he liked more than teaching kids to play ball. In 1976, he served as assistant coach with his dear friend, Olani Wallace, when the team won the State Championship.
Just before Olene graduated from high school, he began dating Janis Anne Hawkins. They continued dating until after her freshman year at Utah State University. They married on June 21, 1963, in the Logan Utah LDS Temple. Their children are: Stephanie Anne (Brad Jensen), Brian H.-deceased, Alan Kay -deceased, Jason Charles (Wendee Cluff), and Gary Ryan. They have eight grandchildren-seven grandsons and one granddaughter who bring joy to their lives. The eldest grandson, Derek Jensen, recently returned from an LDS mission to Cuernavaca, Mexico. The second grandson, Kaleb Warr, served his mission in Canada Edmonton, and the third eldest grandson, Hunter Jensen, is currently serving in the Mexico City East mission. The youngest grandson, Kwinton Warr, is three years old and full of energy. Kross Warr, Alan’s son, is an outstanding musician, and Brendon and Cole Jensen are water polo men. Kassie Warr, the only granddaughter, loves playing basketball and volleyball. All are excellent students. Family always came first with Olene and we shall miss him beyond words. Kwinton expressed it best when he ran in looking for his beloved “Papa.” “Papa? Papa? Where’d he go? Where’d he go?” Olene’s children were all taught the value of hard work and determination. Stephanie Jensen is a trauma nurse at Inland Valley Medical Center in California. Alan was a tower crane operator until he died in March 2014-a loss Olene never overcame. Jason operates the farm. Gary is the Jerome County Recreation District director. Olene will continue his watchful care and love now from the other side of the veil, but we know he will always be with us.
While farming is a full-time job (including a dairy for 35 years) and coaching is very demanding of one’s time and energy, serving the community and church in many positions over the years kept Olene busy. He served as RRHS Alumni president and as chairman of the Raft River Highway District for 29 years. (He finally got the road in front of his own home oiled after 24 years!) During that time he was an executive board member of the Idaho Association of Highway Districts for many years and served as president for three years 2005-2007. In 2007, he was awarded the IAHD 2007 Commissioner of the Year Award. Those positions allowed Olene and Janis to make many friends all over the state of Idaho. He resigned from the association when he and Janis were called to serve an LDS mission in the Kingston Jamaica Mission 2008-2009, where they again added many eternal friends. They also served as ordinance workers in the Logan LDS Temple 2005-2007. Other church callings included Raft River Stake Elders Quorum presidency, Malta 1st Ward executive secretary, Sunday School superintendent, YMMIA president, and most recently, Olene and Janis served as the Temple Prep. teachers, which brought more eternal friends into his circle.
Olene was also a great chef; many people have enjoyed the sumptuous meals at his table or at the countless BBQs in the backyard. He loved Archie Bunker, Augustus McCrae, Jim Reeves, The Statler Bros., the Green Bay Packers and the New York Yankees. Tradition helped him keep his balance and only Gene Autry was allowed to sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on his radio. He believed in showing respect and having “gumption.” And, because of a tender heart, no dog nor cat ever went hungry when Olene was around.
In their 52 years of marriage, (some said they would never make it!), Olene and Janis traveled the world. He was planning another trip to Kenya, Africa or perhaps China this coming year. He would tell you that he has had a wonderful life-full of joyful successes and sorrowful trials. Through tears of joy and grief, Olene and Janis held on to each other. He has been a most loving husband, father, and grandfather. No one ever tried harder than he did to make our lives better.
Olene left us much too soon; he is survived by his wife, Janis; his children: Stephanie Anne Jensen (Brad), Jason Charles Warr (Wendee), and Gary Ryan Warr; his sister, Beverly Jean Ward; his brother-in-law, Robert L. Hawkins (Carole); many loving aunts, an uncle, cousins, nieces and nephews; and, eight grandchildren: Derek Austin Jensen, Hunter Cole Jensen, Brendan Chase Jensen, Cole Damian Jensen; Kaleb Travis Warr, Kassandra Lynn Warr, Kwinton Moyle Warr; and Kross Alan Warr plus one “adopted” granddaughter, Shannon Cluff.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles H. and Chloe B. Warr; two sons-Brian H. and Alan Kay Warr; his brother, Melvin A. “Skeet” Warr; his father and mother-in-law, Lester and Vivian B. Hawkins; a brother-in-law, Paul A. Ward; a brother and sister-in-law, Talbert W. and Laurel H. Peterson; and two brothers-in-law, Travis B. Hawkins and Don Lester Hawkins.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, December 28, at the Malta LDS Church, 280 North 1st Street West, with Bishop Richard Hall officiating. Burial will be in the Valley Vu Cemetery in Malta.
Friends may call from 5 until 7 p.m., Sunday, December 27, at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m., Monday, preceding the service at the church.