August 9, 1934 ~ August 27, 2021

Born in: Berwick, LA
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Hale Olin Desonier, Sr., passed away peacefully August 27, 2021 in Asheville, NC. He was 87. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Asheville artist Jane Colvin Desonier; five children, Olin, Jr. (Carol), David (Gloria), Beth Luke (Ringo), Suzanne, and Stephanie Privat (Ryan); four stepchildren, Carla Bauer, Margaret Bauer (Andrew Morehead), Irene Casper (Trevor), and Ted Bauer (Cassie); thirteen grandchildren and step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a sister, Barbara Davis of New Iberia, LA.

Olin was born in Berwick, LA, on August 9, 1934, and grew up in New Iberia, LA. He was the son of the late Albert Maurice and Barbara Olin Desonier. He was an Eagle Scout and quarterback and captain of the New Iberia High School football team. He started college playing football for Virginia Military Institute, then earned a degree in Chemistry at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. He earned his D.D.S. degree at Loyola University in New Orleans, then practiced dentistry in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged as a Captain. In 1961, he opened a private practice in general dentistry in Franklin, LA, where his five children grew up.

In 1980, Olin and Jane moved to New Orleans, where he enrolled in the LSU School of Dentistry Graduate Prosthodontics Program and then joined the faculty. He was a favorite professor, showing his students the same devotion, encouragement, understanding, and mentoring he brought to fatherhood. His students praised him for the learning atmosphere he created, the practical information he provided for their own practices, and his compassion and patience.

In 1985, Olin reduced his teaching to part-time, and he and Jane moved to Lafayette, LA, where he again opened a private practice, this time focused on helping to relieve the pain his patients suffered from TMJ. They missed New Orleans, so he sold the practice to return to the city. When Olin retired from teaching, he and Jane moved to the cooler climate of Asheville, where Jane could pursue her art career. After over 15 years, and a few extra harsh winters, they tried to move “home” to warmer Louisiana a few times but kept returning to this other city they’d grown to love. Ultimately deciding Asheville was, in fact, “home,” they moved into the Givens Senior Living community for their last years together.

Olin loved exploring the mountains with Jane, to take pictures for her landscapes, and with his children, stepchildren, and grandchildren, to play. He also enjoyed tennis (even into his 80s), cycling, fishing, and landscaping. Like the many different flowers he planted in all the different yards of all the different houses he and Jane lived in, those who knew Olin have his many life lessons firmly planted in their hearts. And the void his passing has left in our hearts will be filled by the unconditional love he planted as well.

Family and friends are invited to a memorial service on Thursday, September 2, at 2:00 at the Pulliam Chapel in the Givens community. In the spirit of celebrating his life, the family requests, in lieu of flowers, contributions to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (https://www.pcf.org) or the Western Carolina Rescue Ministries (PO Box 909, Asheville, NC 28802).

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

Services

Celebration of Life: September 2, 2021 2:00 pm

Pulliam Chapel at Givens Estates
100 Wesley Drive
Asheville, 28803

828-274-4800

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Guestbook

  1. Sincere condolences to you all. May Doc Rest In Peace. He was a friend that was always up to sharing a joke or two. He and Mr. E. J. will surely be celebrating soon.

    Reply
  2. Sending our love & prayers to Dr. Olin’s family. He was an awesome soul. He always took care of my family whenever needed. May he rest in the arms of Jesus. We love you Dr. Olin.

    Reply
  3. Dear Jane — So dismayed to learn of your losing Olin and so disappointed that we didn’t connect more often. He was a fun and good man who will be missed by many. Wishing you comfort.

    Reply
  4. Jane,
    Sending you sincerest condolences at this very painful time. May his memory be for a blessing, as we say in my tradition.
    Love,
    Marlene

    Reply
  5. Dear Jane,
    We are so sorry about your immense loss. We fondly remember Olin. Please accept our heartfelt condolences. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
    Love,
    Ruth and Otto

    Reply
  6. Sending love and thinking of all of you in your time of loss. Dr Olin was such a wonderful part of my childhood and I’m forever grateful for my memories and time spent with his family. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with each of you.
    Hugs, Lacy Lobdell

    Reply
  7. My sincere wishes to you, Jane, and ALL of your wonderful family, on the loss of that treasure, Dr. “O”. You’ve all been on my heart, and in my prayers during this difficult time. BIG LOVE, Cindi Champagne Angers

    Reply
  8. Sending deeply felt condolences to you, Jane, and ALL of your family, on the loss of Dr. “O”, a treasure to any of the communities where you lived. He will be missed by many, as he made people feel accepted, and comfortable, even in a dental chair!! You continue to be on my heart, and in my prayers during this difficult time. Love you ALL BIG! Cindi Champagne Angers

    Reply
  9. Dear Jane,
    My deepest sympathy for your and your family on the passing of Olin. Although no words of comfort or wishes are adequate at this time of grief, do know that my prayers and with you and the family.

    Reply

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