Honoring our Hometown Mentors

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Tony Olivett 1907 – 1993

Tony Olivett was the fourth of Joseph and Teresa Olivett's six children.  His siblings, from oldest to youngest were Sam, Rose (Penanes), Mary (Livoto), Lilly (Riss) and Joe.

Born in Emporium, Tony lived there his entire life, graduating from the Emporium High School, where he captained the football team in 1927.  

In 1932 he married Agnes Agatha Newton, daughter of Charles and Caroline (Conway) Newton.

Following an apprenticeship as tool and dye maker with General Electric in Erie, he applied his trade at Sylvania for several years until failing health forced him to leave.

Diagnosed with "inoperable" cancer, he was referred by Dr. Dorman to a surgeon in New York City, who was willing to operate, and did so, removing his left eye and surrounding tissues.  The post operative prognosis gave him six months to live; but he returned home and lived another forty-five years!!

He turned his photography hobby into his profession, adding the studio to his home in 1950.  It was the rare Emporiumite who never found himself in front of Tony's camera at one time or another.  Tony did the yearbook pictures for most of the 50's, 60's and 70's and in addition to school photography, he also was seen photographing countless weddings, reunions and other special events.  

Tony also did commercial work for companies such as Sylvania.  His aerial photos give an impressive birds-eye view of Emporium and surrounding areas.  Needless to say, he won wide recognition and many awards for his work.

Tony was devoted to the First Baptist Church of Emporium, where he served as a deacon and part of his average day was given to reading The Bible and books by various Christian apologists, including C.S. Lewis.

Following his retirement he threw himself into woodworking and gardening.  The property at 210 West Allegany Ave. was a showplace and of course, he took every opportunity to be with his grandchildren, Rebecca and Melissa.  

Tony was predeceased by his six year old daughter Joan, who died of polio in 1950.  

Surviving today is his son, David Olivett, who wrote this bio.     

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