Russell C. Olson
Wed, 09/06/2017 - 10:36am admin
Russell Curtis Olson was born March 4, 1926, at his parent’s home in White River to Butryx and Esther (Johnson) Olson.
Russ started school Sept. 7, 1932. Initially, he did not want to go to school but his mother took him anyway. He liked it so well that he did not want to go home. Jennie Eilts was his first teacher, and she was also the first teacher for the other six Olson children.
When he was 12 years old, he borrowed five dollars from his mother and bought a pig at the sale ring in White River. The sow had 14 pigs, and he raised seven of them. When he sold the pigs his father kept the money.
Russ was baptized Sept. 5, 1948, becoming a member of the White River Methodist Church Cradle Roll. He formally became a member of the White River Methodist Church in 1956.
During high school Russ played basketball, trumpet in the band, and also played in a dance band. He ran the movie projector at the theater in White River as a side job during his high school years.
He graduated from White River High School on May 12, 1944, and then attended college for one year in Brookings.
From 1946 to 1951, he owned a trucking business with his brother, Eugene.
Russ served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 where he spent time in Baltimore, Maryland and also served in Japan.
He was united in marriage to Wanda Mary Barry on September 26, 1954.
Russ helped organize the Mellette County Health Clinic and served on the county board. He also loved to sing in the church choir. In addition to singing at many funerals with the other three choir members, Russ also enjoyed singing with the community chorus. Russ was also a member of the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, American Legion. He served in many offices at the church and with the Masons. He farmed and ranched his whole life and one of his favorite hobbies was spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Wanda, Murdo; one son, Cliff (Kim) Olson, White River; three grandsons, Jason (Heather) Olson, Rockford, Ill., and Austin and Wyatt Olson, White River; three great-grandchildren, Jeremiah, Braden and Madison Olson; two brothers, Gene (Kay) Olson and John Olson; and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by one son, David Olson; his parents; three brothers, Lawrence, Cliff and George Olson; and one sister Dorothy Miller.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Sept. 2, at the United Methodist Church in Murdo. Pastor Mark Phillips and Pastor Kathy Chesney officiated.
Interment with military honors was held at the White River Cemetery in White River.