Gerald John Olson, known to his friends and loved ones as Jerry, passed away on October 13, 2023. He was born on May 28, 1940, in Osakis, a son of Clarence and Olivia Olson.
Jerry spent his formative years in Osakis and graduated from Osakis High School in 1959. After graduation, he proudly served his country in the United States Army, stationed in Germany for two years. Upon his return, he lived in Minneapolis, where he met Joan Findlay, “and knew she was the one.” The couple exchanged vows on January 28th, 1967, and together they built a life filled with love and adventure.
Jerry and Joan moved back to his hometown of Osakis, where they raised their three children - Julie, Jane, and Jonathan. Throughout his life, Jerry embraced different career paths. He demonstrated his sales skills working for Admiral Appliance. Additionally, he dabbled in entrepreneurship, establishing Olson Driftwood Designs, Jerry Olson Construction, Sunrise Dairy, which later expanded to the local Cheese Store, Jerry Olson Tree Moving, Sunrise Courts trailer park, and Green Door mini-storage facility. He also proudly served on the Osakis City Council for many years.
In their retirement years, Jerry and Joan traveled with friends to Canada, Laughlin, Las Vegas, and Arizona. During this time he realized he loved playing Texas Hold-Em, “and was pretty good at it.” His love of poker took him to card rooms across the Upper Midwest and Canada. He was lucky enough to even play in the World Series of Poker.
One of Jerry’s greatest joys was sharing his love of the outdoors with his children and grandchildren. Some of his favorite memories included going to Squaw Lake with his friends, kids, and grandkids and staying in the big tent. Jerry was one of the world’s best storytellers, and his family always looked forward to listening to them, no matter how many times they had heard them. He was especially proud of his grandkids and loved hearing about their accomplishments. His memory will also be cherished by his extended family, dear friends, and all those whose lives he touched.
Jerry Olson is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Joan Olson, children, Julie (Mike) Kulzer, Jane McClernan, and Jonathan (Kim Rens) Olson; grandchildren, Sarah Traczyk, Rachael Kulzer, Josh Kulzer, Jacob Olson, Lauren Kulzer, and Evan McClernan; sisters, Mary (Mike) Gillespie and Janet (Les) Fortune; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Gary Olson.
Jerry will forever be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and a true friend. His spirit will live on in our hearts forever.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 11 AM at the Immaculate Conception Church in Osakis.
A visitation will take place one hour prior to the mass at the church on Wednesday.
Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in Osakis, MN.
*Special Thank You to the nurses and team at Galeon for the excellent care they gave Dad and compassion they showed to the family.
Arrangements are with the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis, Minnesota.