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Hilda Tallent Olson

Hilda Tallent Olson

CAMDEN, S.C. — Hilda Tallent Olson of Camden, S.C., formerly of Hendersonville, passed away on Nov. 15, 2013, at KershawHealth Hospital in Camden, SC.

She was the daughter of the late Darrance M. Tallent and Annie Dills Tallent of Sylva. In addition to her parents she was also preceded in death by her husband of 62 years C.K. "Ike" Olson; her brother, D.M. Tallent, Jr. and her sister and brother-in-law Dorothy T. and Joe Hunt.

A native of Sylva, she retired after 40 years of service to the public schools of Western North Carolina as a teacher, supervisor, and administrator. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Western Carolina University and she did postgraduate work at George Peabody College.

Before becoming director of elementary education with Hendersonville City Schools she worked as director of instruction for Transylvania County Schools, supervisor of teachers in Murphy and Andrews City Schools, and as a demonstration teacher at Camp Laboratory School at Western Carolina University. She taught and was a library supervisor in Macon County Schools.

She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an honor society for women educators. She served as president of Alpha Iota Chapter while living in Murphy and as president of Alpha Lambda Chapter of Henderson County. She received her 60 year membership pin in 2013. Because of her passion for teaching young readers, Alpha Lambda Chapter established the Hilda Olson Literacy Project which provides preschool books to mothers of newborns and young children receiving support from the Henderson County Health department and the Blue Ridge Community Health Services.

She served on the Henderson County Board of Education, the board of directors of the North Carolina and the National Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the North Carolina Commission of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1993 she received the Distinguished Leadership Award for North Carolina from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

She was involved and provided leadership in many community services and activities. She served on the board of directors of Henderson County Council on Aging, Land of Sky Regional Council on Aging, Western Carolina Community Action, Interagency Exchange, Volunteer Services Bureau, Grants Committee of Henderson County Community Foundation, and the advisory board of the Hendersonville Branch of the State Employees Credit Union.

With a history of service to education and the community, she received numerous awards. Some of these included recognition for outstanding service to elementary and middle school of the South, service and dedication to Children with Special Needs from the NC Division of Exceptional Children, and recognition from The North Carolina Association of Educators for service to public education. She was selected to be featured in a Biographical Directory entitled Her Story which highlighted the noteworthy contributions of Henderson County Women (1945-1995). The directory was published by the Henderson County Council for Women. She was an active member of Henderson County's Retired School Personnel and in 2006 she was inducted into the Henderson County Education Foundation Hall of Fame.

In her final years she lived in Camden, S.C., near her daughter but she never lost her love of education. She encouraged all around her to read and to keep learning. She always respected the contributions to society of each individual.

She is survived by her daughter, Marcia Kay Olson Cashion and son-in-law John W. Cashion of Camden, S.C.; grandson Joseph A. Cashion and wife, Melinda Cashion of Lugoff, S.C.; granddaughter, Kimbrough Cashion Daniels and husband, Clayton Daniels of Brunswick, Ga., and Owen Hunt Daniels.

The family would like to thank Dr. Alice J. Brooks and the doctors and staff of Kershaw Health Hospital, Long Term Care Wing, and Hospice Team for the excellent care and loving kindness given to Mrs. Olson during the last four months of her life. In addition, spiritual support was provided by the members of Grace Episcopal Church in Camden. Special thanks to Rev. James Barnhill and Rev. Charles Davis.

A memorial service for Mrs. Olson will be held at St. James Episcopal Church in Hendersonville at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, with the Rev. Joel G. Hafer officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. James Church, The Hilda Olson Literacy Project of Alpha Lambda Chapter c/o Marilyn Yoder, President, at 63 Glenwood Hill Lane, Mills River, NC 28759, or to the charity of one's choice.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting

Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.