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Oliver Aymar (Nevada) Attains 101 Years of Age

Chapter and Alumni News

By Milton L. Sharp (Nevada)

"Ollie" Aymar at his 100th birthday in 2015 with Sam Dibitonto (Nevada), a Sigma Nu Hall of Fame inductee.

On April 15, 2015, Oliver “Ollie” Aymar, an alumnus of Delta Xi Chapter University of Nevada, Reno, celebrated his 100th birthday. Ollie was born just one year after the 1914 chartering of Delta Xi Chapter. He was initiated in 1934, Delta Xi pin number 236. 

Now 101 and eighty-two years a Sigma Nu, Ollie Aymar has always maintained close ties with his fraternity and his brothers, especially in recent years with John M. “Spud” Blakely and Dr. James R. ”Jim” Herz.  All three had been collegiate brothers together during the mid 1930s. Ollie and Jim were both initiated in 1934, Spud in 1932. The relationship between Ollie and Jim had actually begun some years earlier when both were Eagle Scouts in Nevada Troop No. 1.

Spud Blakely’s son, Michael Blakely (Nevada) for many years arranged for the three brothers to meet frequently for lunch. Spud Blakely died in 2009 and Jim Herz in 2013, leaving only Ollie.  That trio of Delta Xi brothers represents a great example of the Sigma Nu tradition: “friendships that will abide.”     

Ollie Aymar has lived most of his life in Reno, Nevada. He was a graduate of Reno High School and the University of Nevada where he obtained a business degree. He was a part of the U.S. Diplomatic Service, stationed in Chunking, China before the U.S. became actively involved in World War II on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor. Then when diplomatic personnel had to be withdrawn because of the spreading ground warfare in China, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force).  He assisted with the recovery of downed American fliers in China and was then involved in locating remains of Americans killed in various parts of the world.  Ollie remembers, “I was in China for three years, then South Africa and different places.”  He returned to Reno after World War II, but was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. 

He married Ellen Louise Mornston and they raised two sons, Edward and Robert. Following his Korean War service, Ollie worked for glass companies in Reno, retiring in 1985. He has been a member of Rotary Club of Reno for more than 60 years. 

Ollie Aymar is a personification of America’s “Greatest Generation,” the young men and women of World War II.  He served his country, even put his life at risk, and after devoting at least 6 or 7 years of his youth to his country, he came home, bought a modest house in Sparks, Nevada and raised his family.  He became an important part of the Reno/Sparks community. Ollie was proud of his wartime service and never expected more than “Thank You!” from the United States and its citizens.

The Reno Gazette-Journal, the community’s major newspaper, published a full page picture of Oliver Aymar on April 20, 2015, along with a story describing the celebration of his life on the occasion of his 100th birthday party.  The party at Cascades of the Sierra, the retirement community where he now lives, was sponsored by his two sons, and attended by Reno friends, his family, a large delegation from the Rotary Club of Reno and a delegation of Delta Xi alumni and active chapter members. Ollie spent the afternoon meeting and greeting his friends, sipping a little champagne and enjoying birthday cake. He was particularly gratified by the continuity of brotherhood afforded by the participation of the Rotarians and his fraternity brothers.

Ollie loves to relax with friends and family, enjoy some conversation and 101 years of memories, and when asked about his longevity he says, “I attribute my long life to one good martini every day.”  We say: “Many more good martinis, Ollie, many more.”

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