MASSENA – H. Olin Peets, 97, peacefully slept away on Thursday evening, October 31, 2019 at the Highland Home and Rehabilitation Center, with his family by his side.
Olin was born March 29, 1922 in Malone, the son of the late Floyd and Beatrice (Aubin) Peets. As a child, his family moved to Massena, where he attended school and graduated from Massena High School. On February 20, 1943, he entered the US Army serving in the Asiatic-Pacific and European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre during World War II. He was honorable discharged on February 24, 1946. On September 28, 1946, he married Margaret “Peg” Ward at the Church of the Sacred Heart with Rev. Gerald Kellogg, officiating. She predeceased him on February 7, 1996.
After his marriage, and with three young children at home, he started taking courses at Pittsburgh Watchmaking School where he learned the art of watch repair and the skills to become a jeweler. In 1950, he brought those skills home and opened his jewelry store, Peets Jewelers in Downtown Massena, which continues to operate today with the 3rd generation of Peets Family. Throughout his life, Olin was dedicated to his community, but after the tragic drowning death of his son, Michael and nephew, Gregory Morris; Olin became committed to the formation of Massena Rescue Squad and serving as their President for a time. As a strong supporter of the Massena Rescue Squad, he organized a community wide Christmas Card Fundraising Drive annually. He was also a past member of the Massena Volunteer Fire Department and current member of the Massena Exempt Fireman. He was a past member and President of the Downtown Merchants Association and was instrumental in securing funding for the downtown Christmas decorations. As a veteran, he was a Life Member and Past Commander of the American Legion Post #79, Life Member of the Gerald R. Roy AMVETS Post #4, and Earl J. Santimaw VFW Post #1143. A devout Catholic, Olin was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Honorary Life Member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1141 in Massena. When Olin wasn’t in his store or home, he could be found enjoying friendship at Bob’s Barber Shop or with the OTB guys at Pappy’s Bowl-Mor Lanes. He also enjoyed playing golf and camping at Coles Creek.
Olin is survived by his sons, Hugh O. Peets and his wife, Patty, and Patrick J. Peets and his companion, Debbie Santos, all of Massena; his son-in-law, Ronald Faucher of Syracuse; his grandchildren, Katie, Danny, Sean, Mike, Brian, David, Amanda, Shannon, and Jeramy; many great grandchildren; his brothers, Fred Peets of Hannawa Falls and Richard Peets of Canton; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by a son, Michael W. Peets on April 14, 1960, his daughter, Kristine Faucher on July 31, 2008; his sisters, Joyce Foster and Gertrude Morris; and his brother, Stanley Peets.
Friends may call Tuesday 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 PM. Burial will be held privately in Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing may consider donations to Massena Meals on Wheels or Massena Rescue Squad in his memory.