City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Susan Margaret Barr Olchak

Raleigh, North Carolina

Age 77.
Died 05/24/2024.

Susan Margaret Barr Olchak
Susan Margaret Barr Olchak, 77, of Raleigh and Mt. Airy, North Carolina passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 24,2024.

Susan was born on October 13, 1946, to Evans Robinson Barr and Sara (Wolfe) Barr in Sugar Creek Township, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Franklin High School in 1964, she attended Hemot Hospital School of Nursing in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1966, while in Erie, a blind date with Richard Olchak, led to marriage three months later. They were happily married for 53 years until his death in 2020.

Susan did not finish nursing school in Pennsylvania, and chose to spend the next twenty years raising two children. A life-long learner, she eventually returned to school as an adult student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She earned a Bachelors degree in social work, and graduated with honors. While employed with North Carolina Services for the Blind as a social worker she traveled all over the advocating for and providing comfort, support, and vision aids for her blind and visually impaired clients.

Susan had a varied and interesting life. Along with her passion for social work, she was an active church member, acted as a lay minster in many congregations and was also a youth pastor at UNCG. She volunteered as a girl scout leader, and in the 1970s she was appointed as a zoning commissioner in Hartford, Connecticut. She sang, played the guitar, did a variety of visual arts including drawing, painting, calligraphy, throwing pots, weaving, macrame and sewing as well as being a great cook. She also performed as a storyteller at festivals in and around the state.

Susan was brilliant, charming, funny, wildly creative and fierce. She loved and valued her family immensely, especially her late husband Richard.

Susan is survived by her brother James Barr married to sister-in-law Ardath (Wilson) Barr, her son John Olchak married to daughter-in-law Kristin (Shelton) Olchak, son James Olchak married to daughter-in-law Rhonda (Storms) Olchak, niece Laura, great niece Katelyn, and great nephew James.

There will be a memorial service in Susan and Richard’s honor at their spiritual home, Holy Trinity Church in Mt. Airy- timing to be determined.

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations