The Reverend John J. Olofson, Jr.

The Reverend John J. Olofson, Jr.


Let us remember with thanksgiving the life and ministry of Rev. John J. Olofson, Jr., 91, who died on Monday, May 4, 2020 at his home in Clinton, NY.

John was born in New York City on August 26, 1928 to John and Julia (Riordan) Olofson and attended schools in Brooklyn and in East Northport, NY. He joined the Navy near the end of the Second World War, serving on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Princeton, and was later stationed on Guam.

John attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1953 with a degree in philosophy. That same year he married his first wife, Carolyn Noble. Following his graduation in 1956 from Yale University School of Divinity, John was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church.

During his 40 year ministry he served the following churches in the New York Conference: Westville UMC in New Haven, CT; Darien UMC in CT; Pound Ridge Community Church & Sellecks Corners UMC in NY, Simsbury UMC in CT; First Church of Round Hill in Greenwich, CT; Nichols UMC in Trumbull, CT; Valhalla UMC in NY; and North Canton & Washington Hill UMCs in CT. During many of these years he also served with local fire departments and ambulance crews as an EMT. Following John’s retirement in 1995, he worked as an out-placement counselor for Drake, Beam, and Morin on a part-time basis.

John was an inspiring preacher and a much sought-after counselor who oversaw large membership drives and expansion projects at a number of his churches. He was a voracious reader of history and detective fiction, and enjoyed gardening and playing tennis. He was also an avid birdwatcher, particularly interested in raptors, and organized vacations in his retirement in order to visit good birding spots.

John was predeceased by his second wife, Sylvia Dietlin, and by his siblings, Joan Muller, Bernard Olofson and Henry Olofson.

He is survived by his children, Margaret (William) Thickstun, Joan McDonald, Anne (Christopher) Carpiniello, and Susan (Richard) Brandolino; his step-daughters, Elizabeth (Richard) Collins and Nancy Dietlin (David Williams); as well as by his grandchildren, John and Charles (Russ) Thickstun, Max and Conrad McDonald, Blake and Katherine Carpiniello, Cary and Elizabeth Brandolino, and step-grandchildren Hannah and Samuel Collins.

At this time no funeral or memorial details are available.