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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Wallace R. Olson

Issue Date: July 3, 2019

Wallace (Wally) Ray Olson, Sr., 90, of Grays Lake, Ill, formerly of Peshtigo, passed away Saturday, June 29.

Born, July 14, 1928, to Hjalmer and Viola (Morden) Olson in Waukesha, he was too young to serve in the military like his brother Richard (Dick), so during World War II he plowed Victory Gardens on a large scale across the greater Waukesha and Milwaukee areas. He was formally recognized by both FFA and US Department of Agriculture for his efforts.

After completing high school in Waukesha, he moved with his parents to a homestead adjacent to his Aunt Myrtle (Morden) and Uncle Albert Olson, outside Peshtigo. During this time, he met Marilyn Mansfield and they were married for 29 years and had eight children together. He farmed and also worked at various manufacturers including, Thompson Boat Company and Kargard Industries until he joined the Boilermakers Union (Local 107) that opened doors for a different way of life that he pursued.

He married Mary Lou Scanlon-Neuhaus in Skokie, Ill. and three step-children were added to his family. During their 37 year marriage, he added golf to his hobbies and remained active in the Royal Order of the Elks, Bristol Shooting Club, hunting, wood-working and enjoyed the supper-club life-style. They moved to Libertyville, Ill., until retiring to Grays Lake where he continued to excel as a Boilermaker before retiring in 1991.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou (Scanlon-Neuhaus) Olson; five children, Christine Olson (Lloyd) Vogds, Deanna Olson-Diercks (Dennis) Kjos, Wallace (Nancy Tornow) Olson Jr., Frank Olson and Rebecca Olson (Steven) Haak; his children's mother, Marilyn (Mansfield) Olson; three step-children, Robert Neuhaus, Lynne Neuhaus (James) Mortell and Kathy Neuhaus (Paul) Hervatin; 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Captain Richard Olson; three infant children, William, Nicklaus and Jean Olson and a grandchild, Kasidhe Olson.

Visitation will be held at Berth and Rosenthal Funeral Home in Peshtigo on Friday, July 5 from 10 a.m. until time of services at noon. Fr. John Harper will officiate, followed by burial in Riverside Cemetery in Peshtigo.


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