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James Edward Olmstead, 78, of Perrysburg, died at Hospice of Northwest Ohio on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. James Edward Olmstead was born on July 2, 1936, in Hampton, Iowa, the oldest of three sons born to Roscoe L. and Esther A. Olmstead.
Jim attended the Hampton Public Schools, graduating from Hampton High School in 1959. Following graduation from Iowa State University, he accepted a position as industrial education instructor for the Sioux Rapids Consolidated Schools. Brother Olmstead received his master of education degree from Bowling Green State University.
He married Shirley Anita Crotwell on November 26, 1959, Thanksgiving Day. They have been blessed with two sons. Michael James of Perrysburg; has one son and two daughters, David Leonard and his wife, Sherry, of Amelia, Ohio, have two sons.
Jim and Shirley left Iowa to accept positions with the Toledo Public Schools in August of 1962. He served as president of the Ohio Industrial Technology Association from 1980 to 1982. He was awarded the “Outstanding Industrial Educator” Award from the Midwest Ohio Industrial Technology Association in 1982 and the “Outstanding Educator” Award from the Ohio Industrial Technology Association in 1983. Brother Olmstead was inducted into the professional honorary fraternities of Phi Delta Kappa and Epsilon Pi Tau, the latter of which awarded him the Laureate Citation for professional accomplishments.
Jim and his wife made their home in Maumee, from 1962 to 1991, when they moved to Perrysburg. He retired from Toledo Public Schools in 1992, after 33 years in public school teaching and administration. They are members of Grace United Methodist Church in Perrysburg.
M.W. Brother Olmstead was raised a Master Mason on March 17, 1969, in Phoenix Lodge No. 123 of Perrysburg. He served as Worshipful Master in 1975-76, and as Secretary of Phoenix Lodge from 1981-1987. He was a District Education Officer in the 11th District from 1976-78 and a District Deputy Grand Master from 1978-81.
He served as Excellent High Priest of Fort Miami Chapter R.A.M. in 1987. He was also a member of Calumet Council No. 133, R.&S.M. and St. Omer Commandery No. 59, K.T. where he served as Sword Bearer, Warder, Standard Bearer and Recorder. Brother Olmstead also served as Worthy Patron of Perrysburg Chapter #446 on six different occasions. He was a member of Zenobia Shrine Temple in Toledo, and a Past Commodore of the Zenobia Mariners Unit.
He was actively involved with youth organizations throughout his life and was a member of the Advisory Board of Fallen Timbers Chapter Order of DeMolay. He received the Advisory Cross-of-Honor and the DeMolay Legion of Honor. Brother Olmstead was a Past Puissant Sovereign of St. Thomas Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, Past Sovereign Master Key to the Sea Council A.M.D. and Past Sovereign Master of Turkey Foot Council A.M.D. He served as the Most Venerable Grand Master of the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America in 2002.
He was Past Commander-in-Chief of Toledo Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Toledo. He was Coroneted a thirty-third Degree Mason on September 17, 1988, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He served as Executive Secretary of the Valley of Toledo, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite from 1992-96. He was elected an Active for the Supreme Council, NMJ in 1995 and appointed Deputy for Ohio in 1996 where he served for nine years. He became an Emeritus member in 2008.
He received the “Medal of Honor” from the Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ and the Medal of Honor from the Ohio Council of Deliberation. He received the “Knight Grand Cross” from the AMD of the United States, the High Council of the Societas Rosecruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis and the Red Branch of Erie. He received the Grand Lodge’s “P. Dean Gerber Award” in 2003. He is a recipient of the “Order of the Purple Cross” from the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. The Valley of Toledo awarded him the “Barton Smith Medal” in 2008, the highest award the Valley can present. He is an Honorary Member of the Knights of St. Andrew Chapter in Toledo, OH.
Jim served as the Chief Adept for the Ohio College of Rosicrucian’s from 2003 to 2009.
He also served the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar for the United States as the Chairman of Fraternal Relations.
He was appointed Junior Grand Deacon for the Grand Lodge of Ohio by Most Worshipful Brother George O. Braatz on October 17, 1987. He was subsequently appointed Senior Grand Deacon in 1988, Grand Marshal in 1989 and Grand Orator in 1990. He was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1991, Senior Grand Warden in 1992 and Deputy Grand Master in 1993. He was elected and installed as Grand Master of Masons in Ohio on October 15, 1994.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Shirley A. (Crotwell) Olmstead; sons, Michael J. Olmstead and David L. (Sherry) Olmstead; grandchildren, Nicholas, Rachael, Sarah, Taylor, and Bryan Olmstead; brothers, Richard (Judy) Olmstead of Mena, AK, and Steven Olmstead of Albuquerque, NM.
Friends will be received at the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, 222 East South Boundary Street, Perrysburg, on Saturday, January 24, from 2 to 9 p.m., where a Perrysburg Chapter #446 OES service will be held at 7 p.m., a Phoenix Masonic Lodge No. 123 F.&A.M. service at 7:30 p.m., and a Scottish Rite Valley of Toledo service at 8 p.m. Visitation will continue Sunday, January 25, from 2 to 3 p.m., at Grace United Methodist Church, 601 East Boundary Street, Perrysburg, where a funeral service begins at 3 p.m. Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Grand Lodge Scholarship Fund, One Masonic Drive, Springfield, Ohio 45504, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio, 30000 East River Road, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551. Online condolences to the family can be made at


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