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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Richard M. Olson

Richard M. ”Dick” Olson, 87, formerly of North Shore Drive, Duluth, Minn., died Sunday, Sept. 8, at St Luke’s Hospital.

Born Oct. 22, 1925 to Hjalmar and Viola (Morden) Olson in Waukesha, in February 1943, during World War II, he joined the Navy and served as a boatswain’s mate second class aboard the heavy cruiser, Tuscaloosa. He served three tours in the Middle East, African and European Theatre and two tours in the Asian, Pacific, Philippine Theatre, chased the Bismarck and saw battle in Iwo Jima and Normandy.

After discharge, he attended the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois and sailed on the Great Lakes for Hanna Mining Company. He served aboard the Weir, Falk, Thompson, and Carnahan and became captain on the Humphrey and retired as Captain of the George A. Stinson. During a severe storm in 1953, he went over the side of the Thompson to rescue men from the sinking Steinbrenner.

He married the former Elizabeth Cooper in 1949 and moved to Duluth where they raised their three children. He then married Arlene Strom in 1983 and after retiring, traveled the United States in their motor home and spent many hours aboard their boat “The Spiffy Lady”. They enjoyed winters in Bonita Springs, Fla. and traveling in Europe, Scotland, and the British Isles. Their home in Palmers was the center for all family activities and holidays.

A member of French River Lutheran Church, International Shipmaster’s Association, Loyal Order of Moose, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elks, and Duluth Township Volunteer Fire Department, liked to read and was well known for his generosity, booming laugh, outgoing and colorful personality. He had many stories to tell and was never known to mince words. He was a master of managing people and situations and truly lived each day of his life.

Among survivors are a son, Daryl (Linda) Olson of Fairbanks, Ala.; two daughters, Sharon (Garry) Moe and Maureen Olson of Duluth; six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; three step-children, Ann Jackson, Tim (Julie) Strom and Karl (Christine) Strom, all of Duluth; six step-grandchildren and a brother, Wallace (Mary Lou) Olson.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Arlene Strom Olson; granddaughter, Tammy Lundgren and a son in law, Scott Jackson.

Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m. on Monday Sept. 16, at French River Lutheran Church. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Palmers. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Salvation Army.


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