Volunteer couple picked to lead Marigold Days parade
A pair of long-time supporters of the Mantorville Restoration Association is being recognized for their efforts by being named grand marshals of this weekend’s Marigold Days Parade.
John and Jane Olive will be dressed in their Victorian attire leading the parade Sunday afternoon through the streets of Mantorville. The Olives say they are looking forward to representing the community in the parade.
The Olives represent what Mantorville is all about, said Mary Lee Lamberg, who is on the Marigold Days planning committee. “We try to find somebody who is the spirit of Mantorville and the spirit of volunteer work,” Lamberg said, adding that fits the Olives to a tee.
Lamberg said John’s heavy involvement with the restoration association makes him a great choice for the honor. He is currently president of the association. “He is a get ‘er done person with fixing,” she said. “He is often the one to do it. He understands the maintenance of all our old buildings.”
According to Lamberg, John took special pride in the restoration of Cooper’s Log Cabin. “He saved the log house,” Jane said, adding the project was the start of the involvement of the restoration association with various buildings in Mantorville.
“We are a busy group of people keeping buildings up and functioning,” Jane said. “It’s no small feat,” she added.
Jane has served on almost every committee in town, Lamberg said. She also serves on a number of statewide committees all having to do with sustainable rural development, including farming, arts and small towns. “She is as passionate as John, but on a different plain,” Lamberg said.
Besides being named this year’s grand marshals, the Olives have been voted “Gems of Mantorville” at separate times in the past. John was a gem in 2008 and Jane in 2010. “That was really a sweet thing to have happen,” Jane said. “It’s kind of a pat on the back for all the things we’ve done.”
Jane has led an effort to redecorate the Opera House in 2005. Both John and Jane were involved in erecting “Welcome to Mantorville” signs on the main entrances to town.
“John and I are self-starters,” Jane said. “We get involved. We are just these people who get involved in things individually and together,” she said.
Jane said she didn’t get involved in the community until about 2004 when her daughter obtained a driver’s license. John has been involved since the 1980s. John’s family has lived in the Mantorville area for six generations.
Asked what they enjoy most about Mantorville, Jane said: “It’s the history and culture. People are really proud to live there. It’s a place that one likes to be—a sense of permanence and beauty.”
The Olives are both retired from their professional careers. John was a contractor, developer and had an excavating company while Jane was a registered nurse.