Larry Charles Olin


On the morning of Dec. 3, we lost the pleasure and privilege of skiing, fishing, hunting, playing cards, volunteering, having a drink, enjoying a meal and sharing a story with Larry Charles Olin (71), when he passed away at home in Pagosa Springs, Colo.
Larry was the firstborn of three sons to John and Rosalie (Zimmerman) Olin. He grew up in Redondo Beach, Calif., and graduated from Aviation High School, where he played football and baseball.
Following graduation, he joined the United States Navy, played on the Navy football team and lived on a submarine for two years. He would want you to know that men of his stature and physique were usually not tapped to serve on submarines. It was a blessing and a curse to be tall and broad-shouldered in a tiny vessel 400 feet below the surface.
In 1970, he met the love of his life, Lassie (Wynkoop) Olin, in Manhattan Beach, Calif. She was working at a burger joint and he was running deliveries for a liquor store. Both were enjoying life at the beach and attending college classes as the surf, sand, sun and the 1970s permitted.
Lassie and Larry were married in 1971 and, in 1973, Larry earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts with a minor in English from California State University, Long Beach. Later in life, he earned a master’s degree in English from Pepperdine University.
Lassie and Larry joined the Peace Corps in 1973, serving three years in Southeast Asia teaching educational programs and starting their married life without a toilet or running water.
When they returned to the United States, they bought a home in a new area called Orange County, Calif. Larry was hired to teach English and woodshop and coach football and baseball at El Toro High School (ETHS), where he became an iconic and beloved fixture on campus.
The greatest years of his 33-year career were the ones he spent teaching and coaching his sons, Matt (41) and Tyler (39).
ETHS reluctantly watched a legend leave when Larry retired in 2009. He packed up his tools, fishing poles, hunting gear, skis, music and wife and eagerly headed northeast to Pagosa Springs.
His years in Pagosa Springs were few, but they were full of adventure, friendships and service. He was proud past president of the Gray Wolves Ski Club; an inaugural board member for the Veterans Memorial Park of Archuleta County; committee member for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association; and a volunteer for the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association and Vets for Vets.
Larry’s charm, charisma and tales live on in his wife, Lassie Olin; his sons, Matt (Lori) Olin and Tyler (Fereshteh) Olin; and his four grandchildren (Clayton, Cooper, Cyrus and Soraya).
Join family and friends in celebrating a life well lived at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
In lieu of flowers and priceless treasures, please consider making a donation in Larry’s name to: Veterans Memorial Park (VMPAC), P.O. Box 2642, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.