William Stephen Olmsted, 72, of Edwards, passed away peacefully at his home Thursday with his loving wife, Susan, and son, Brian, by his side. His passing was the final chapter of his courageous 34-month fight to live.
He married Susan Williams, of Potsdam, N.Y., in 1961 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Susan is the daughter of Ray and Fran Williams (both deceased), also from Potsdam.
He was a valedictorian at Colton Pierrepont Central High School, class of 1959. He attended ATC Community College, Canton, N.Y., and graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Albany in 1969 with a bachelor of arts degree in Russian language and education.
Steve served in the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1965, attending the Russian language program at Syracuse University, where he was an honor student. From 1963 to 1965, he was stationed in Karamursel, Turkey.
In 1969, he joined the National Security Agency, where he had a 32-year career as a Russian linguist. He was selected to attend the U.S. Army Russian Language Institute in Garmisch, Germany, where he completed the equivalent of a master’s degree in Russian studies.
After retiring from the NSA, Steve and Susan headed for the Vail Valley, where Steve perfected his already considerable skiing talents and served as a Beaver Creek Mountain Red Jacket volunteer for 13 years.
Steve is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter, Stephanie, of Honolulu; son, Brian, of Edwards; grandson, Justin Olmsted, also of Edwards; and sister, Anne Griffin, of Madrid, N.Y.
The family would like to thank the Visiting Angels, of Eagle (especially the two Lindas) and Harden Hospice, of Glenwood Springs (special thanks to nurse Kim, social worker Sue, CNA Leah and Chaplain John).
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to Colton Pierrepont Central School to be placed in a scholarship fund for a deserving college-bound student.
Send donations to Colton-Pierrepont Central School, 4921 State Highway 56, Colton, N.Y. 13625, 315-262-2100, Attention: Beth Larrabee.
A life celebration and mass will be held at the Beaver Creek Chapel on Oct. 26 at 12 p.m. followed by a reception at The Seasons at Arrowhead located next to the Vista restaurant. Parking at the reception will be directed by the gate attendant.