Thelma Oleta (Huestis) Garvic was born on January 20, 1917 and entered the gates of heaven at the age of 106 on February 14, 2023. She preferred to be called Oleta, but her childhood name was Tince.
She was born to Paul and Audie (Parmer) Huestis in Dothan, Texas. At the age of six months, her mother was struck and killed by lightning. Her maternal grandparents raised Oleta, along with her seven other children. They gave Oleta a wonderful education, including a rich spiritual background in the Church of the Nazarene. Her grandparents, Van and Carrie Parmer, were founding members of the Church of the Nazarene and were present at its founding day in October 1908 at Pilot Point, Texas. Through all of these influences, she met the Lord as a child and grew up to be the beautiful Christian woman we all know and love.
Oleta’s love of music and children stuck with her in those early years. She, along with her aunts, were a favorite gospel quartet in the church and surrounding West Texas area. Playing the piano and singing in the church choir has been one of her favorite activities throughout her life. She loved the Church of the Nazarene wherever she lived, supporting it through prayer, giving, leadership, and serving as an adult Sunday school teacher for many years.
As a youth, she attended Bethany Nazarene College (SNU), Pasadena Nazarene College (PLNU), and the University of Southern California, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She met her lifelong love, Jim W. Garvic, as a student in Pasadena, California. They married in 1948 and settled in Southern California. Jim and Oleta raised their two children, Jeanette and Jim E. in Downey, California. Oleta worked as an elementary teacher, eventually retiring from that career.
In 1994, Oleta and Jim moved to Olathe, KS to be closer to family and also became members of the College Church of the Nazarene. Her beloved husband entered heaven in 1996, and Oleta became more involved in church and community. She joined the church choir, joined His Fellowship class, and served the Hispanic church as a pianist for many years. She also volunteered at the Good Samaritan, providing service music for their weekly chapel meeting. Oleta remained active at College Church until her health became no longer a challenge.
Her final earthly home was in Aberdeen Village in Olathe, KS where she was cared for by her many friends, family and caring staff. She remained a prayer warrior for her family and her church, although her failing health prevented her from regularly attending church outside Aberdeen. College Church’s Sunday 9:00am live stream was one of her favorites that she tried not to miss!
He leaves with everyone who has ever touched a rich Christian testimony of new birth, sanctified life, and lifelong service to his Lord Jesus Christ. We, his family, will always appreciate the path of righteousness he has blazed before us. May her heart’s desire be fulfilled: the salvation of every generation that follows her.