Cover photo for Robert George "Bob" Olander's Obituary
Robert George "Bob" Olander Profile Photo
1931 Robert George "Bob" Olander 2024

Robert George "Bob" Olander

April 8, 1931 — March 18, 2024

Big Island, VA

Robert Olander, 92, of Big Island, VA passed away on Monday, March 18, 2024, at his residence. He was born in New York on April 8, 1931, A son of the late Francis Olander and Alice Callahan Olander. In addition to his parents Robert was preceded in death by his first wife Kathryn, the mother of his three children. In addition, Bob was preceded in death by his sisters, Frannie Cassagne (Gil), Alice Knight and Lucille Yaiser (Albert).

 Bob traveled around the world hunting, making it to six of the seven continents.  However, it was more about experiencing adventures while enjoying the camaraderie of his companions and the beauty of nature than it was about hunting.  Bob loved doing puzzles and he was a master of it, with a very specific system for doing them.  He also enjoyed working around his property and driving his tractors. 
 Bob had a varied career, starting out as a carpenter and then developing a very successful home building company in Suffolk County, NY, where he had grown up.  He was considered the best builder in the area.  He left behind the building company to move to New Bern, NC to open and operate Burger Kings with his eldest son, eventually acquiring run down, older Burger Kings in the Raleigh/Duheart, area where he utilized his building experience to renovate the restaurants.
 Bob had a very kind heart and he quietly helped many people in his life over the years.  He cared deeply about his family and always enjoyed time spent with them.

Bob enjoyed his nephews and nieces, Terry Hoye, Susan Leach, Chris Yaiser, Linda Yaiser, Valerie Bryant, Karl Haller, Alice Riley, Linda Brownley, Jennifer Biggins, Eric Hudson, Terrel Isreal and Nickolas Isreal, many of whom sent puzzles and cards over the years. Bob frequently hosted dear family members Bryan and Jewel Holloman, as well as, Jerome and Jeannie Isreal at his mountain home.

In his later years, Bob continued utilizing his entrepreneurial skills with his wife, Zeta,  to build many businesses including Burger King franchises in NC. Their restaurant had the first drive thru available to local patrons in NC. Bob spent many days hunting and fishing with his friends Mike and Jimmy Hearne on the Carolina coast and abroad.

Upon moving to Virginia, Bob began another housing business with his wife and dear personal friend Jim. Bob and Jim spent many hours working on houses, farming and fishing while enjoying a close friendship.

 Bob is survived by his wife of 32 years Zeta Olander; children, Robert Olander (Kathryn Gervasi), Kathleen Robb (Rick); Michael Olander (Candace); grandchildren, Michael Olander (Jessica), Kaitlin Price (Jesse), Alex Olander, Shane Olander, Sasha Olander; Great-grandchildren, Olivia Olander, Julian Olander, Jack Price; and many friends. 

A Funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm Monday, March 25, 2024 at Tharp Funeral Chapel, Bedford, VA.  To send condolences online please visit Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford is assisting the family. 



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert George "Bob" Olander, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, March 25, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Tharp Funeral Home - Bedford

320 N Bridge St, Bedford, VA 24523

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 652

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree