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Paula D. Olinger

March 23, 1947 September 17, 2022
Paula D. Olinger
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Obituary for Paula D. Olinger

Dr. Paula Olinger, 75, of Gettysburg, Pa died in her home on Saturday, September 17th, 2022. She passed away from complications of dementia.

Dr. Olinger taught Spanish at Gettysburg College and retired in May of 2018 after almost 40 years of teaching. Dr. Olinger received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1981. She published, Images of Transformation in Traditional Hispanic Poetry, in 1985. She traveled, and had a lifelong desire to learn and experience different cultures and was an advocate for all. She was fascinated by religion and had been Catholic, Orthodox Jewish, and most recently Buddhist. While teaching at the college, she had the idea to create The Center/El Centro, a community after school program in her family home. She created a wonderful atmosphere and environment for so many children and families in the community to come, learn, and grow together. Paula believed strongly in the value of service learning and collaborated with the Spanish Department to provide tutors for the children which immensely benefited both the children and college students.

She fiercely believed in human rights. Although Paula did not like to take credit for all the wonderful things she did, the community recognized her contributions through many humanitarian awards and she was honored to have had the experiences she did with the community of Gettysburg.

Dr. Olinger was preceded in death by her parents, George and Mae (Bream) Olinger. She had two children Axa Jones (BJ Jones) and Noah Rubira. She found great joy in her grandchildren Nathan and Jaden Jones. She had two brothers, Barton Olinger (Colleen), nephews Miles and Seth Olinger, all of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Stephen Olinger of Gettysburg and niece Sarah Hadoulis of Connecticut.

Paula loved her family, animals, and nature. She enjoyed taking walks on the battlefield with her dogs and was incredibly interested in Gettysburg’s history and was involved with the Elsie Singmaster Society.

As education was central to her life, the family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of a donation to the Gettysburg Area Dollars for Scholars program, PO Box 4339, Gettysburg, PA 17325 in memory of Paula Olinger. The family will hold a Celebration of Life for Paula in the future and details will be shared at that time. Online tributes and condolences can be made at

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