Anthony C.E.C. OlcottApril 10, 1950 — June 22, 2018


Anthony C.E.C. OlcottApril 10, 1950 — June 22, 2018


Tony Olcott

Anthony “Tony” Olcott was born in Red Lodge, Montana, to Harry J. and Alison “Sammy” Olcott, (originally of the U.K). The oldest of four children (Terry, Andy, and Nick followed), Tony left Red Lodge to attend Phillips Exeter Academy and then studied at Leland Stanford Jr. University, where he completed his BA, MA, and PhD.

Tony met his wife Martha while doing research in Russia. They married in Billings in 1975, three months to the day after Harry married Virginia (Beller) Olcott. He is survived by his wife; three children, Alison, Andrew (wife Lisa) and Hillary; and two granddaughters, Beatrix and Maisie; as well as by his siblings, Virginia Olcott and her children and their families.

Tony had a rich and varied career. He was the author of five mystery novels, including Murder at the Red October, which was on the Chicago Bestseller List. He was a prolific translator and also published two nonfiction books; his Russian Pulp won AATSEEL Best Book of Literary or Cultural Studies in 2003.

But he was most proud of his work with young people, in the classroom while teaching at Colgate University (until 2000), at James Madison College of Michigan State University since 2014, and during the intervening years, as an open-source analyst in the U.S. intelligence community.

Tony will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

His funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 27, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave., in Billings, followed by burial in the Red Lodge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Anthony Olcott Scholarship for Russian Studies at James Madison College of Michigan State University (James Madison College, 842 Chestnut Road, Room S329, East Lansing, MI 48825).

Leave a Memory or Condolence

10 thoughts on “Anthony C.E.C. OlcottApril 10, 1950 — June 22, 2018”

  1. For the Olcott family, I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Bill Crowley

  2. Dear Martha,
    I am very sorry to hear of Tony’s death. You were two of the first people we came to know at Colgate, through a seder at the Ochs’ house. When I was Humanities Division director, Tony and I had so many wonderful conversations in Lawrence Hall. He always seemed like a bigger person than Colgate would let him be, as he served the curriculum, rather than having Colgate expand his roles according to his great talents. Despite those concerns, it was always a pleasure to be with him.

    I have missed him; I have missed you both.
    Chris Vecsey

  3. Dear Martha and family,
    I have many fond memories of Tony as friend, story teller, drinking partner, and witty conversationalist. He was a great spirit who will be missed. Sandra and I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you and may he rest in peace.
    Warm regards ,
    Bob and Sandra Kraynak

  4. Olcott Family! I’ve known and loved you all my life, and I continue to hold you close to my heart right. What a great family of brilliant brainiacs who always inspired me to think harder, laugh longer and ski faster. La Chaim! Mazeltov. Namaste. Kate Cranston Williams

  5. marietta cheng

    Dear Martha,
    My deepest sympathies. Tony was such a genial presence; he had a wonderful smile. I remember having ice cream together. It was a pleasure having you both as our neighbors.
    I can empathize, having lost Paul a year and a half ago. I’m so sorry.

    Marietta Cheng

  6. Dear Martha,

    I am so terribly sorry to learn of Tony’s passing. He was a wonderful scholar, writer, and teacher, and many groups of Colgate Russian students learned much from him, on campus and on study groups in Moscow. Deepest condolences.


    Nancy Ries

  7. Dear Martha,

    I was deeply saddened to learn of Tony’s passing. He was a wonderful teacher, scholar, and writer, and his impact on Colgate students, both on campus and through your joint study groups, was huge. I’m very sorry for your loss.

    With warm condolences,

  8. Tony was a bright light of wit and wisdom in government. He had a way of expressing ideas in a way that was both persuasive and compelling. I will miss you!

  9. To the Olcott family–my condolences for your loss. I did not know Anthony well–I heard him speak two or three times, and he was kind enough to meet me for lunch in Ballston (Virginia) ten years ago, but I was enormously impressed by his lively intelligence and wisdom, his thoughtfulness, and the easy, unpretentious manner in which he wore his knowledge. I get the sense that people who knew him well were lucky indeed.

  10. Dear Martha,

    This morning I was talking about Murder at the Red October with a friend of mine who was a Russian major years ago. I looked up Tony and was saddened to learn of his passing. We had many a lunch together at Phillips Academy. I was newly arrived from Turkey and he from Leningrad and we shared many thoughts about living in the US. Those were wonderful conversations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *