Donald L. Olson obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Donald L. Olson

January 8, 1926 - November 28, 2016

Obituary


Donald L. Olson

Another WWII 10th Mountain Division veteran has gone to join his ski troop buddies who've blazed that trail before him. Donald L. Olson, New Brighton, MN, passed away on Monday, November 29, at his home at the age of 90.

Don attended Edison High School, enlisted in the army, and joined the ski troop training at Camp Hale, Colorado. From there he went to Camp Swift, Texas, for more training. The troops landed in Naples, Italy, and walked and climbed to/up/over mountains. They assaulted surprised Germans on Mt....

Donald L. Olson

Another WWII 10th Mountain Division veteran has gone to join his ski troop buddies who've blazed that trail before him. Donald L. Olson, New Brighton, MN, passed away on Monday, November 29, at his home at the age of 90.

Don attended Edison High School, enlisted in the army, and joined the ski troop training at Camp Hale, Colorado. From there he went to Camp Swift, Texas, for more training. The troops landed in Naples, Italy, and walked and climbed to/up/over mountains. They assaulted surprised Germans on Mt. Belvedere, by attacking at night. Troopers in front of and behind Don were hit. To this day, Don and his wife have kept in touch with Del Riley, the soldier in front of Don. The men in his squad became very close and remained friends all these years. George Nelson, also in the same squad, went on to develop Lutsen Ski Area. Don and Alice would drive up almost every fall to enjoy the area with George and his wife Patti.

After the war, Don studied Civil Engineering at the U of MN. Needing a class in design, he enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in an industrial arts program. That is where he met Alice, who was in a commercial art course. They became friends, sharing many interests. Don felt sorry for Alice because she wasn't married yet. The best thing he could do for her was to marry her. Alice's comment was, "we all know who got the best of this union." They were married in 1956 and had a son Eric in 1962.

Don was a hunter with shotgun, rifle and bow, loading his own rifle and shotgun shells and making his own arrows. Don trained 4 hunting dogs, a Chesapeake, 2 black labs and a springer. For years he was active in the MN Springer Spaniel Field Trial Club and did well with his springer. Don and Alice enjoyed fishing trips to Lake Kabetogama, camping or staying in a log cabin. That's how Eric developed keen interest in the art of catching walleyes.

Don was a civil engineer for the city of Minneapolis for 33 years. After retirement, he was a realtor for a number of years.

Don had promised one day that the family would take up skiing. So when Eric was about 7 and showing an interest in skiing (on a neighbor's small slope), they started their fun Saturday ski days at Trollhaugen Ski Area in WI. Alice took lessons from a ski instructor cousin and Eric became a member of the Blizzard Ski School. A number of years later, they explored becoming ski patrollers and trained and skied at Wild Mountain. Passing all the tests, they began patrolling in 1980. Don was president of the North Central Chapter of the 10th Mountain Division from 1989 to 1992.

Don is preceded in death by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends. The family would like to give heartfelt thank you's to the wonderful palliative care and hospice nurses and attendants for the tender care given to Don.

Services will be held at Sunset Funeral Home Chapel, 2250 St. Anthony Blvd. NE, Minneapolis. on Tuesday, December 6. Visitation at 10:00 a.m. with service at 11:00. Short military service at Fort Snelling will follow. Memorials can be sent to the 10th Mountain Division Foundation, Inc., at 133 S. Van Gordom St., Suite 200, Lakewood, CO 80228.

SUNSET 612-789-3596 | www.sunsetfuneralservices.com