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David J. Olney
July 29, 2015


David J. Olney, 80, of Mattapoisett passed away on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was the husband of Margaret “Peggy” (Leask) Olney.
David was born and raised in Waltham, MA, the youngest child of Charles E. and Loraine (Caul) Olney. A life-long summer resident of Mattapoisett, he moved there year-round upon retirement in 1996.
David graduated from Bates College in 1956 and earned Masters degrees from Johns Hopkins Univ. and Cornell Univ. He taught high school chemistry and physics for 38 years, including 15 years at New Rochelle, NY, H.S. and 23 years at Lexington, MA, H.S. During his teaching career, David received several regional and national awards for Excellence in Science Teaching, the highlight being selected in 1985 as one of two Presidential Award recipients for Massachusetts. For several years he was a volunteer tutor at the Hayden-McFadden School in New Bedford.
David was a member of the Mattapoisett Congregational Church and sang in the church choir. He also sang with the Sippican Choral Society and volunteered at the Mattapoisett Council on Aging, Mattapoisett Land Trust and Mattapoisett Historical Society. He loved playing folk music on his guitar, entertaining family and friends. David called himself a “puzzle nut” and liked all kinds of word, number and logic puzzles. He constructed puzzles for students and various publications. He especially enjoyed family card games and playing bridge with his friends at the Mattapoisett and Wareham COA. When the breezes were fair, David sailed his beloved “Sea Jay” on Buzzards Bay.
David is survived by his children, Douglas of Brooklyn, NY, Jonathan of Bel Air, MD, and Katherine and her husband David Kleinschmidt of Acton, MA; four grandchildren, Maggie, Caroline and T.J. Olney and Nathan Kleinschmidt; his sister Dorothy Davies and her husband Julian of Vancouver, BC; several in-laws, cousins and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Charles Jr. and Robert and his sister Loraine McConnell.
His memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 9 at 1 p.m. at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church. Donations in his name may be made to the Mattapoisett Congregational Church or the Mattapoisett Land Trust. Funeral arrangements are provided by Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals in Mattapoisett. For online condolence book, please visit

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Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Home
50 County Road, Route 6
Mattapoisett, MA 02739