M. (Margaret) Olive Cheney, 101, of Peacham, Vt., died on Sept. 25 at her home in Peacham.
She was born in Hinesburg, Vt. on Feb. 26, 1919, the first child of Bunal M. and Julia (Somers) Cheney. She was named for her great-grandmother. She attended a little red school, the Aiken School, where all eight grades were held in one room. During most of her eight years there, only three families were represented. Olive attended McIndoe Falls Academy from 1932-1936 and upon her graduation she went to New York City to work. She worked at the Home Insurance Company on Maiden Lane in Manhattan, leaving them in 1949 to join the Irving Trust Company Bank (now the Bank of New York) at One Wall Street. She worked in the Corporate Trust and Company Investment departments and later became Administrator in the world-wide Charter Company that was formed by the bank.
Having watched the World Trade Center twin towers being built from her office window, she left the bank after 25 years of service to try her hand at a completely different type of work - that of a world-wide steamship company, Prudential Steamship Lines, owned by the Skouras family of Greece. Their offices were located on the 38th floor of Tower #1 of the World Trade Center. After six years, the firm relocated to New Orleans but Olive, not wishing to make the move, took early retirement to spend more time in Vermont.
Her father, Bunal Cheney, died in 1980, so her mother, Julia, lived with Olive in her Brooklyn apartment. They wintered in Belleview, Fla. and continued to spend time in Peacham. The family farm was sold in 1987 and her mother died in 1992. Eventually, Olive returned to Peacham to live. An active member of any community in which she resided, she belonged to the National Association for Family and Community Education based at the Florida Cooperative Extension Services with the University of Florida and volunteered by judging 4-H projects and crafts in Marion County, FL schools. In 1928, she joined the Congregational Church of McIndoe Falls and remained a member. She was an associate member of the Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn and attended the Methodist Church of Belleview, Fla. as well as the Peacham Congregational Church. Olive was the director of the Cherokee Park Association in Belleview, and belonged to the Senior Friends of Ocala, FL, AARP, and the Florida Mobile Home Association. Most recently Olive was a board member of Peacham Community Housing and Emeritus Deacon of the Peacham Congregational Church. Along with her close friend, Ed Westman of Woodsville, she attended local senior meals and concerts. She and Ed enjoyed traveling in recent years and could be found dining in restaurants throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, and Quebec. In 2019, Olive was featured as a “Super Senior” on WCAX.
Olive is survived by two sisters, Ruby Humphrey of Reno, Nev. and Elsie Wright of Wells River, Vt.
She was predeceased by sisters Doris Therrien, Gwendolyn Mitchell and Meryl Ientile and brothers Robert Cheney and Lyle Cheney.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, Oct. 9 from 5 and 6 p.m. at Ricker Funeral Home, 1 Birch St., Woodsville, N.H.
A burial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the McIndoe Falls Cemetery.
Masks and social distancing are required for attendance at all of Olive’s services.
A memorial service will be held in the spring of 2021 at the Peacham Congregational Church. (Note that this will need to be confirmed if COVID and social distancing rules are in effect). Memorial contributions may be made to Caledonia Home Health, 161 Sherman Drive, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819.
For more information or to offer an online condolence, please visit www.rickerfh.com.
Ricker Funeral Home & Cremation Care of Woodsville is in charge of arrangements.