Loraine Castagno Oliver passed away on the morning of Tuesday, July 28, 2020, due to a stroke. She will forever be remembered as a loyal friend, a beloved matriarch, and a self-proclaimed “she-buckaroo.”
Loraine was born March 17, 1933, to John Stanley Castagno and Zelma Rose Bleazard “up home” on the family farm in Erda, Utah. She remembered swimming in the pond, riding horses, milking cows, and gathering eggs.
From the age of five onwards, Loraine lived with her family on various ranches; first near the shores of the Great Salt Lake and later in Erda. Their house on the old Castagno ranch had no electricity and no insulation, but it did have running water — in fact, the water ran in their sink 24/7 through a pipe connecting it to a nearby spring! Life on the ranch was an adventure for Loraine, and she always had her horse “Old Sport” saddled so she could help her dad herd cows. “I could have been more help to my mother if I hadn’t been out being a tom-boy with my dad,” she recalled. They worked hard in the days of horse-drawn mowers and hay wagons, and it was while working alongside her parents that Loraine picked up her father’s endearing wit and her mother’s many sayings (“We eat what we can and can what we can’t”). Most school days, Loraine’s father would drive her the two miles to the highway to catch the bus to go to school in Grantsville, but other days she would just walk.
Loraine was fortunate to know her great-grandparents, grandparents, and extended family quite well. Her vivid stories about them have brought “her people” to life for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. These stories have, in effect, connected seven generations to each other. They have also conveyed what Loraine valued: hard work, perseverance, good humor, and love of family.
Loraine also valued education. She graduated from Tooele High School in 1950, then from BYU in 1955, and went on to teach kindergarten at Hawthorne Elementary in Salt Lake City. She developed lifelong friendships at BYU, and also became a lifelong Cougar fan — holding BYU football season tickets for over 45 years.
She married her husband James “Jim” Wesley Oliver Jr. on Aug. 8, 1956, in the Logan Temple. Jim’s teaching took them to Roosevelt, Taylorsville, and Erda, Utah. Loraine was happy these jobs brought them close to her family. In Taylorsville they lived around the corner from Ella and Frank, and in Erda she lived next door to her mom, and down the street from Donna and LeRoy, and Dale and LaRae.
In 1975 they moved to Mapleton so Jim could work at BYU. Loraine has loved this farm community and watched it grow from four wards when she arrived to now three stakes and 27 wards. Among her many church callings, she served as the 5th Ward Relief Society President for five years and the Mapleton Stake Relief Society President for nine years.
Loraine is survived by her five children and their spouses: Sharon Warner (Ken) of Springville, John Oliver (Denise) of Nibley, Rose Palmer (Brian) of Mapleton; Tracy Schultz (Craig) of Orem; and Julie Andersen-Hancock (Dave) of Bluffdale; 25 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; sisters Ella Santiago (Frank) of Provo, Donna Rose (LeRoy) of Tooele; in-laws LaRae Castagno of Orem, Glenna Oliver and Dixie Dalton of Moab, Lola Mae Oliver of St. George; numerous nieces and nephews; and many who call her their second mother. Loraine was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother Dale Castagno, son-in-law Chuck Andersen, and in-laws Lonnie and Delbert Oliver, and Marjorie and Gene Hill.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, in the Old White Church in Mapleton, by invitation only. Live streaming will be available on Spring Creek Utah County Mortuary’s Facebook page. Loraine will be buried in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery. There will be a viewing Friday, July 31, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Spring Creek Mortuary, 737 N. Main St., Springville, Utah.