OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
5800 West 12th Street, Little Rock
Leo Olberts, Jr.
Published: February 7, 2013
Leo Olberts, Jr., died February 5, 2013, at St. Vincent's Hospital with his family around him. He was born in Little Rock on June 6, 1931, and was the only son of the late Leo Edward Olberts and Helen Bowlin Olberts. He attended St. Edward's Grammar School before moving with his family to New Orleans in the summer of '42. He was a student at Jesuit High in N.O. for three years then returned to Little Rock where he graduated from Catholic High School in 1947. It was during his senior year at CHS when he met the love of his life, Margaret Ann Burnett, whom he married in 1951 after his graduation from LSU.
A Journalism/Speech Major, Olberts worked as an announcer at the University Station WLSU during his junior year and at KXLR in North Little Rock the following summer. After his graduation from college he became first a staff announcer at KPLC in Lake Charles and then at KALB in Alexandria, La., where he was employed when first married. He left radio for the insurance business and spent the better part of his working years in the Property and Casualty insurance industry serving initially as an Inspector with the Arkansas Inspection & Rating Bureau (later ISO of Arkansas) from 1952-1954.
In March of '54 he joined the highly respected Lewis & Norwood General Agency as a Field Rep and bought into the Agency in 1970. During the late ‘70s the Agency reorganized itself into two corporations Lewis & Norwood, General Agents of which he was President and a local agency Ramsey, Olberts, Krug & Farrell (later Ramsey, Krug, Farrell & Lensing and part of Bancorp South). In 1986 he formed the Olberts Company, Inc., and brought AMEX Life (now Genworth Life) into the state to write Long-Term Nursing Home Insurance. He also served as Vice-President of Operations for the American Management Corporation and worked with them for three years.
Olberts was a dedicated member of the Arkansas Mutual Agents Association (now the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Arkansas) and served several terms on their Board of Directors and as President in 1972-73. He was the recipient of the Association's "Mr. Chairman" award in 1969 for his work as Chairman of their Legislative Committee and again in 1978 in recognition for his leadership as Education Chairman.
He was among the first lectors at Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic Church and served both as a member of the Church Finance Committee for eight years and later as a member of the Parish Council. He was also on the Holy Souls School Board from 1973-76, including a term as its President in his final year on the Board.
For Leo, family get-togethers were the highlight of every holiday season. Each of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were very special to him. He enjoyed playing all types of games with them and encouraging them in their varied interests and activities. He spent many basketball seasons as a statistician on the bench with his son who coached both at Bryant and Mills University Studies High School. He also loved traveling throughout the states and in Europe, photography, big band music, old movies and his iMac.
Olberts is survived by his wife of 61 years, Margaret Ann Olberts, daughters Sharon Sellars, Carol Fox and Patty O'Mara of Little Rock, Cathy Derden of Boise, Idaho, and an only son, Leo Olberts, III, also of Little Rock and by their spouses, Rick Sellars, David Fox, Frank O'Mara, Terry Derden and Marguerite Olberts. Additionally, he is survived by 14 grandchildren: Elizabeth Sellars, Terry (and wife Nicole) Derden, Madaline Derden Anderson (and husband Rob) Michael (and wife Aislynn) Derden, Katie Derden Duke (and husband R.T.); Nicholas Collier, Laura and Samantha Fox; Jack, Colin and Harry O'Mara; Ben (and wife Amina) Olberts, Rachel Olberts Bilyk (and husband Cole) and Christian Olberts, as well as seven great-grandsons Thomas, Timothy and Tyler Derden, Eli and Samuel Olberts, Cooper Anderson and Ryan Collier.
There will be a Visitation at 6 p.m. at Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic Church on Friday, February 8, with a Rosary to follow at 7 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 9, also at Holy Souls Catholic Church with Father Maurico Carrasso, as Celebrant. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery under the direction of Griffith, Leggett, Healey & Roth Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Arkansas Children's Hospital, Our Lady of Holy Souls Catholic School, Mount St. Mary Academy, Catholic High School for Boys or St. Theresa Catholic School Adopt a Student Program.
Please share your stories and memories of Leo and send your condolences to the family at his online guestbook, www.griffinleggetthealeyroth.com.