Sharron, Olen Joseph

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On Tuesday evening, August 29, 2007 Olen Joseph Sharron found peace with the world and went to be with his Savior. Olen was born on December 8, 1942 in Plattsburgh, New York and attended Plattsburgh High School and the Miner Institute.

His farming roots led him to obtain his associate’s degree in agricultural studies from State University of New York at Canton in 1963. Following school, Olen embarked on a rewarding thirty year career with the United States Department of Agriculture. He served as a State Conservation Program Specialist for 21 years in Syracuse, New York, and then spent his last three years prior to retirement at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In performing his USDA duties Olen worked closely with a number of Federal and State Agencies, including Forestry. It was through forestry contacts that he developed special interests in all areas of forest management. Olen “retired” from the federal government in 1997, but in anticipation of his next adventure, he trained himself and became a certified arborist. In 1998 he established I V Tree Care, a company dedicated to providing trees with systemic injections for the treatment of disease and infestation.

His company’s mission took firm focus when he and his wife Becky moved to beautiful Pearisburg, Va. and he specialized in treatment of hemlocks across the region that were gravely threatened by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Because of his passion and skill he has bequeathed to Southwest Virginia hundreds of healthy hemlocks which he saved with this technique.

He is survived by his wife of twenty one years, Rebecca Newlon Sharron of Pearisburg; his sister, Carol Robertson of Plattsburgh; his sons Dean and his wife Kathy, and Steve, all of North Syracuse; three grandchildren, Lucas, Jessica, and Jarett. Olen also bids farewell to a stepson, Sean and his wife and children, Stephanie, Jon, Adam, and Caleb of Decatur, Ga., and a stepdaughter, Kimberly Harp of Miami, Fla.

Everyone Olen met became his friend. If you knew Olen, you loved Olen. He leaves behind a host of friends at home and around the country. His daily celebration of and exuberance in the miracles of life was surpassed only by his courage in facing death.

Friends and family will be received at Givens Funeral Home on Tuesday evening, September 4, 2007 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Blacksburg with Father James Arsenault presiding. Cremation will follow the Funeral Mass.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Save a Hemlock” program of the Nature Conservancy at Mountain Lake, or to Preferred Hospice, Inc. of Pulaski, Va. Online condolences can be sent to the family at