June 24, 1935 ~ June 2, 2020

Born in: Pittsburg, CA
Resided in: Aurora, CO

Col. Jose J. Olvera USAF Ret.

The Colonel flew his final mission at 8:05pm on June 2, 2020.

The first born and only son of proud, hardworking, Mexican immigrants Jennie and Joe Olvera. He graduated from the most prestigious military academy in the world, West Point, who offered him a commission in the Air Force. He was a very accomplished pilot and served his country proudly in Vietnam. During his military career he was afforded the opportunity to attend the University of Arizona and obtained his Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Jose would later serve on the Inter-American defense board in Washington, DC taking on two missions and serving as a diplomat in the foreign service of the United States Embassies in Argentina and Mexico.

By the end of his career he earned many awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross w/1 OLC, Bronze Star, Air Medal w/19 OLC, Air Force Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Service Medal w/7 devices, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with device. After 26 years of dedicated military service, he retired; although he was not done helping others.

Jose soon went back to work as a successful stockbroker for Merrill Lynch. He returned to aviation by working at Evergreen Air Center, Learjet Corp, and Simuflight Training International.

During Dianne’s return to school, he picked up the slack at home and became not just the father; but part time mother as well so that she could focus on her studies and obtain her dual doctorate. Soon after, his wife Dianne and he moved to Arroyo Grande where his passion to help continued and he started substitute teaching and volunteering locally and internationally.

Jose was the proud and loving father to five sons and one daughter. He cared for his children unconditionally. Although he traveled extensively throughout his careers, he never forgot to call to say goodnight to the family, and he made just about every baseball, soccer and other sports games, even coaching some of the teams.

Jose was a true leader and warrior in every word. He expected perfection or an attempt to do so. He would hold a standard that would help shape his children for their future and was the most loving caring person all the way to his passing. He was able to beat COVID-19 so that he could come home to pass away in the arms of his family. He is survived by his wife Dianne Olvera, Betsy Webb, John, Chris, Rick, Steve and David Olvera and his sisters, Elsie Allen and Linda Olvera.

He will be dearly missed by so many.


“When we depart from thee, serving on land or sea, may we still loyal be, West Point to thee.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are being accepted by The Medevac Foundation International.  www.medevacfoundation.org/olvera

For those wanting to attend the service virtually, you will be able to participate and join the family through zoom room, by clicking the following link: https://zoom.us/j/9218459342, on Wednesday June 24, 2020 beginning at 9:45am.


Prayer Service: June 24, 2020 10:00 am

Horan & McConaty - South Denver
1091 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80246

Room: Chapel

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Memories Timeline

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  1. I remember Jose fondly, both when I coached David and working with Jose at Merrill Lynch. RIP Jose and best wishes to the family.

  2. Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen

  3. I am a friend of his son… David. Although I didn’t meet José Olvera, I followed the last few months thru David’s postings. I wish David and family the strength to carry on. Godspeed, Col.

  4. I am a friend of David’s. I felt like I knew his dad just from all of the great postings and conversations. Rest In Peace Sir and thank you for your service. Sending prayers to the entire Olvera family.

  5. From the first moment I met Uncle John I felt such warmth and love from him. No matter who was around, we all felt that way when in his presence. He was so kind & friendly, and welcomed me into my husband’s family with open arms. It meant so very much to me. I love him & Dianne so much and so blessed to call them family. Rest In Peace sweet wonderful Uncle John. You will be missed. We all love you.

  6. We’ll meet again
    Don’t know where
    Don’t know when
    But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
    Keep smiling through
    Just like you always do
    ‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
    Words by Vera Lynn

  7. Jose and I met as Plebes at West Point in June 1953. We were in the same company for the next four years. Having similar backgrounds of being only children of proud immigrant families and similar career goals in aviation our lives took similar paths. We maintained that friendship for the next 67 years through all sorts of transitions and life challenges. Rest In Peace, Jose, job well done, a life well lived and mission accomplished!

  8. You were the first of 39 grandchildren and what an inspiration you were to all of us in so many different ways. You were the Patriarch! Not only were you a scholar but you always embraced each and every one of us with your loving support and affection. We will miss that so much for now but we look forward to seeing you again when that time comes for us. Once again my brother, you will lead the way.

  9. The Buckley AFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our condolences and our gratitude for Col Olvera’s service to our country in the Air Force. If you would like any help with matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), etc you can contact our office on Buckley AFB at 720-847-6693. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss.

    Steve Young
    Lt Col, USAF, Ret
    Director, Buckley AFB RAO


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