You know what they say — like father like daughter. is is a story of a father and his loving daughter – both humble and unassuming, yet immensely accomplished and devoted to honor, duty, and service.
Captain Jack Ollinger began his naval service in 1941 and remained on active duty until the end of World War II. But even after that, he continued to serve. He entered the Navy Reserve and served for 25 years, retiring with the rank of Captain. He was Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Division and Naval Reserve Battalion at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City.
“It was easy to decide which organization to give to – the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.”
Everyone knew and respected Jack’s love for the Navy. And that included top brass. After completing active duty, Jack received a special letter from Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal.
“My dear Captain Ollinger,” Secretary Forrestal wrote in part, “I want the Navy’s pride in you, which it is my privilege to express, to reach into your civilian life and remain with you always.” The letter is a memento that Jack always prized, along with a Certificate of Merit from the Navy, an award and a trophy from the Twelfth Naval District competition, and many more honors. Jack always gave his best, and he instilled that spirit in his daughter.
Captain Jack Ollinger with his daughter, Janet, who left a generous legacy gift for the Society to honor her dad.
“Jack and Janet really respected each other,” said Jane Edwards, a friend of Janet’s since childhood. “Janet received unconditional love from her dad, and she inherited his sense of humility and kindness.”
Like her dad, Janet had impressive accomplishments. She graduated with an Honor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Utah and then earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, as well as a Certificate in Management from Wharton. She joined the Rohm and Hass Company, becoming the first woman Ph.D. chemist in the research division. And she received the Chairman’s Award, the company’s highest honor, and had several patents to her credit. With all her success, she naturally began thinking about giving back.
“We were talking on the phone,” Jane said, “and Janet was thinking about giving to charities. Since she loved her dad so much and always took care of him until his death in 2013, I said, ‘Why don’t you give something that honors your dad?’”
Because Jack was so devoted to the Navy, it was easy to decide which organization to give to – the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
Shortly after, Janet passed away, leaving an extremely generous gift to the Society in honor of her dad, Captain Jack Ollinger. “I know she felt really good about giving that gift,” Jane said. “And the appreciation from the Society for her generosity really meant a lot.”
Janet wanted the gift to be used to support the Society’s work with sea service members dealing with combat-related stress. And that’s exactly how it will be used – to quietly make a real difference — just as Jack and his daughter, Janet, always did.
The Society is grateful for the generous gift from Dr. Ollinger to support the Combat Casualty Assistance Visiting Nurse program.