John Earl Oltesvig Jr., age 73, died at his home in Carthage, NC on Monday, August 23, 2021.

Born on January 9, 1948, in Oakland County, Michigan, John was a son of the late Earl and Ellen Nelson Oltesvig.

In Michigan, John attended Oakland University where he received his Master of Science degree. He worked hard to enjoy a successful career in the automotive industry, most notably as Vice President at Navistar International.

He and his wife Renee enjoyed traveling the world seeking out new adventures and places to visit. John enjoyed photography, his 1931 Model-A (that he would drive weekly into town!), working his horse farm, skiing, backpacking, and seeking the Lord. He was also an Eagle Scout and was a scoutmaster for a number of years.

John’s favorite saying, “Have fun, be safe, do great things, love God.”

John leaves behind his beloved wife of 45 years: Renee (Elmy) Oltesvig; daughter: Andrea and husband Alton Garrard of Michigan; son Justin and wife Lauren Oltesvig of California; two sisters: Lenora and Mary Ellen; two grandsons: Preston and Ethan.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Village Chapel in Pinehurst.

The family will be holding a celebration of life at a later date.

Online condolences may be offered at

Fry & Prickett Funeral Home is assisting the Oltesvig family.

Memories Timeline


  1. To my parents he was Earl Jr; to the rest of the family he was “Bruzz.” Growing up together we enjoyed childhoods that are now long gone. We rode bikes, ice skated, he climbed a tree so high and than feel out, down beside me, breaking both arms. Yep, he had a really good childhood doing what boys did. When he kept pestering mom while she was giving my sister and I permanents, she locked him out of the house, smart kid that he was, he went into the garage, got dad’s tools and short wired the doorbell so it would continue ringing. That doorbell never chimed again even though it did work but after that it buzzed instead of chimes. He praised the Lord for all his blessings; may he now rest in peace forever. From his sister, Lenora

  2. A Ray Bottoms John was Instant likeable and had a delightful presence about him. I knew him from the Village Chapel and the Men’s Bible Class. I will miss his smile and Christian fellowship.

  3. To my Dear Great Uncle John with love, Or as we called you Uncle Bruzz

    I have so many deep emotions when I think of you being gone. First I think of my mother, Denise Berg your niece who thought so fondly of you before her passing in 98. I think of my Grandma Lenora your sister and all the loss she has endured this year. I think of my kids who will never know you, and of your wife and children during this time off loss. In my mind I think of all of us grieving from all over the world for a you. Each with our own special memories.

    Through all these years we as a family have all gone in different directions but still managed to keep in touch or watch your life online. Like the time you were on the news for the Boston tea party, everyone of us jumped on the internet to see you in action.

    Watching as you did yoga, or working out wishing we all could bend like that, and laughing because we are 30 years younger and can’t do it as well as you.
    You always had an adventure or trip we followed. Every new update was filled with photos of you smiling.

    So I want to say a proper goodbye and let you know you are forever in our hearts and minds. May your soul rest with those you love for eternity. You are all together now, (Grandpa Earl, Grandma Ellen, My mom and Uncle Craig, Cousin Elaine)We have lost so many of you these past few years. It eases my mind to think your in good company.

    With love from all of us,

    Brookie Ellen, Logan, Lenise, and Levi Anne.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. We were invalided in so many MTC functions and will miss John. Our prayers and best wish’s go out to John’s family.

    Joe and Nancy (departed) Kasko

  5. I am sad to hear of John’s death. I have fond memories of John wearing his Revolutionary War uniform and carrying the American flag and being interviewed. John was quite a character, loving to my jokes and quips. I will remember him. Renee, I pray for you in your loss and for the children and grandchildren in their loss. I do not feel sorry for John, because he is with God. But for we who have lost a loved one, we feel the pain of the loss of the physical presence.

  6. Earl and I grew up together in Pontiac Michigan. Went to grade school, junior high, high school, and college together. He was a groomsman in my wedding to Ann 51 years ago and we lost touch with each other. We reconnected and celebrated the fact that we were brothers in Christ. Though the years we would tell each other what our Father in heaven was leading us to and through for His glory and I hope for the day when I would visit with him again. That day will now take place in heaven. Earl was a wonderful friend and I will miss him and hope to meet Renee one day.

  7. I was a classmate of Earls at PNH. He was such a nice, likable young man back then and, it appears, he remained the same as he grew older. Many of our class of 66 reconnected with Earl through Facebook and we thoroughly enjoyed his posts of his and Renee’s travels. The way he faced his different physical problems with such courage, humor and faith in God, is proof of his character. We will miss reading about his adventures. My condolences to Renee and the rest of the family.

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