Arthur (Bud) Leonard Olson, age 95 passed away on July 12, 2009. He was at home with family, resting peacefully in recovery from recent surgeries.
Bud grew up in the rural Midwest where his parents, Sigvart and Sigrid Olson, emigrated from Norway at the turn of the century and homesteaded a forty-acre parcel outside of Alberta. As one of eight children, he worked the family farm and helped break virgin soil, walking behind a horse and drag plow.
In 1942, at age 29, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps. After basic and technical training he was sent to England and served with the Eighth Air Force. Bud was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group (later known as the "Bloody Hundredth" due to the large amount of casualties sustained) as a gunner and flight engineer flying in B-17 heavy bombers during daylight operations over occupied Europe. He completed his tour of duty with 28 missions and was reassigned stateside as an aircraft engine mechanic instructor at Chanute Field, Ill., prior to his honorable discharge in October 1945.
In 1947 he met and married the former Doris Darlene Schinzel, also from Alberta. After a few years in the Morris area, the couple moved west and spent the next forty years living in Oregon and California. During this time, Bud worked in sales for Ford Motor tractors in Eugene, Ore., followed by home construction and a small business in the San Fernando Valley in southern California. In 1969, they returned to Eugene to participate as joint partners in a family home center store. Bud retired in 1974, but continued to volunteer his talents to the local Lutheran church.
The couple returned to Elk River in 1988 to live closer to siblings, and the most recent relocation was made in 2001 to Sedona, Ariz. for a warmer climate and to be near his son, Ron and family. During the next seven years Bud made numerous friends in his retirement community, and spent many wonderful hours accompanying his son on his construction job sites and events.
Bud lived a full and joyous life and was the last living member of his brothers and sisters. He held a deep love for his wife, his sons, and their families. One of his greatest joys was getting together to visit with his siblings, nieces and nephews, immediate family, and grandchildren. Throughout the many years of his life Bud was involved in the church, participated as a coach in Little League, enjoyed watching Major League baseball games, fishing on Minnesota lakes and the McKenzie River in Oregon, spending time in his home shop making numerous items out of wood to give as gifts, motor home traveling with friends, and most recently, morning coffee with his local buddies.
A kind and generous man, Bud is survived by Doris, his wife of sixty-two years, three sons and daughter in laws; Dennis and Monika Olson, Ronald and Kim Olson, and Kim and Jane Olson. He was the proud grandfather of Christopher, Casey, Camille, Reid, Kyle, Erik, Kelly, Ryan, and Jenna. He was loved and will be deeply missed by us all.
A military graveside service will be held in Alberta at a family cemetery near Bud's childhood home. In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family requests that Bud be honored through contributions to either: Hospice Compassus, 70 Bell Rock Plaza, Suite #A, Sedona, AZ 86336 or Frog Lake Cemetery Fund, c/o Victor Bruer, Treas. 185 Oregon Avenue, Morris, MN 56267.