Life History Steven Olson
Steven James Olson, 71, died peacefully at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis on November 10, 2011, surrounded by loved ones. Born in Virginia, Minnesota, he was raised in Osakis, MN. Steve graduated from Osakis Public School in 1958 as Valedictorian, summa cum laude from Hamline University in 1962 and cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1965. He retired in 1997 as the general counsel of Ceridian Corporation, formerly Control Data. Prior to that, he practiced law in Minnesota at the Oppenheimer firm. At the time of his death, Steve was serving as chairman of the board of the First National Bank of Osakis and has been on the Hamline University Board of Trustees since 2007. In the 1990s, he served six years on the CLA Alumni Board of Hamline University. Steve is survived by his wife, Ilene; sons, Steven (Julie) Olson, Jr. and Christopher (Karen Finnegan) Olson; stepdaughters, Lisa (Kerry Marusich) Ferris, Mari (Doug) Holt and Jan Ferris; grandchildren, Barrett, Evan and Jennifer Olson and Cullen and James Olson, Jennifer, Bradley and Melissa Holt; brother, Newman (Sonya)Olson, Jr.; the mother of his sons, Sally Olson; many nieces and nephews. Steve is preceded in death by his parents, Newman and Katherine (Evenson) Olson, Sr. Through Steve's journey, friends and family kept in touch through the Caring Bridge website. One of his friends so aptly described Steve: "Steve really was one of those "one in a million" who enriches the lives of so many others. That brilliant mind - that ingenious wit - that underlying softie who could be moved to tears by the joy (and sorrows) of others". He was that and so much more to all of us who loved him. Steve had a love of music (particularly barbershop and a cappella choirs), golf and yard work. He was proud that his sons shared his passions, one as a musician and one as an attorney. A Memorial Service will be held at the Osakis Presbyterian Church on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm. Inurnment will be at Lakeside Cemetery in Osakis. If so desired, memorials may be directed to the Claribelle Olson Scholarship Funds, the Hamline University Center (student union) or to the donor's choice.