LOREN K (OLY) OLSON September 12, 1941 - October 1, 2020
"My health may fail and my spirit grow weak, but God is the strength of my heart, he is mine forever." Psalms 72:26
Our loving husband, father and stepdad, brother, uncle, grandpa, and "uncle-grandpa" took the hand of Jesus and walked with Him into eternity on the morning of October 1st, at The Hospice House in Post Falls, Idaho. His passing was sudden and unexpected to us. But he had endured chronic lung disease for some 16 years, and today, we are so grateful that his heart had the determination to keep Oly in our lives for as long as it did.
Oly was the fourth of seven children born to Ernest and Elsie (Reese) Olson of Detroit Lakes, MN. He was born in Van Nuys, CA while the family lived there during WWII, and his father worked at Lockheed Aircraft. He graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1959, and from the University of Minnesota in 1963, with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Oly enlisted in the US Army in September 1966, went to Officer Candidate School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, graduating as a 1st Lieutenant. He was soon sent to Vietnam to fight on the front lines, and served as Unit Commander and Combat Engineer. During the Tet Offensive in January, 1968, Oly was wounded and evacuated from Vietnam, eventually arriving at the military hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado for surgery and recovery. This led to his Honorable discharge from the Army in September, 1968.
Oly's priorities in life were God, Family, Country...and Golf. And he would eagerly talk about all four to anyone he met. Having only moved to Post Falls three years ago, Oly and his wife were thrilled to find a "church home" at Real Life Ministries. They loved Pastor Jim (Putman), the Sunday messages, the programs, the people, the desire to reach the community, "one person at a time." If Oly chatted with you in line at Costco, before you parted, you knew where he went to church, and had been told to check it out for yourself.
Oly was an avid and excellent golfer, shooting his age (rare) 19 times! He always loved going out with his golf buddies for the day, more for the joy of spending time with them. Never a "quitter," Oly found ways to work on home projects and engineering projects for friends, doing yard work and restoration work, building his wife a She-Shed...all while persevering through the mounting fatigue that accompanied his disease. He was a DIYer and could fix anything. He loved creating new gadgets, helping his neighbors, and having enough tools available in his shop for anyone to borrow when needed. He enjoyed handing out gold dollars to little kids who were being obedient and/or trying to help their parents with something, anything! Lots of happy smiling little faces really made his day! But even more than all of these things, Oly loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and knew that The Lord was preparing a place for him one day.
Oly's wife, children and grandchildren meant the world to him. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Lynn (Miller), son Eric Olson (in England), stepson Brian McWhorter (Eugene, OR), and stepdaughter Erin Engstrom (Raleigh, NC), his seven grandchildren, Todd and Sisley Olson, Oakley and Kyla McWhorter, Van, Torin and Lyra Engstrom. He is also survived by two sisters, June Knopp (Fergus Falls, MN), Sharon (Ken) Davidson (Avon Lake, OH), and a brother, Harley Olson (Detroit Lakes, MN), and a multitude of nieces, nephews and grands who will all dearly miss him. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and three brothers, Duane, Paul, and Keith.
The family plans to have a celebration of life gathering in Oregon next Spring/Summer, where Oly will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery in Clackamas, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, Oly would love to have donations made to Real Life Ministries, Post Falls, in honor of all the ways they serve the community here.