Gerald D.W. Olson
June 25, 2019
IRONWOOD, Mich. - Gerald D.W. Olson, 83, a lifelong resident of Ironwood Township, passed away peacefully Friday, June 21, 2019.
Gerald was born on Nov. 8, 1935, in Ironwood, a son of Frank and Maymie (Greku) Olson. He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood in 1953. During his teen years, he loved going to work summers at the Greku family farm in Mankato, Minn. After high school, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota–Duluth.
On June 15, 1968, Gerald was united in marriage to Janice Lynn Hautala at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironwood. They recently celebrated 51 years of marriage together.
Gerald worked as an elementary school teacher for 32 years. He worked at McKinley School, a Coldwater school, Roosevelt School and Norrie Elementary School. He taught 6th grade for most of his career. He also coached, occasionally drove athletic teams home on school buses, and helped in any fashion possible, especially during his time at Roosevelt School. Students were very fond of Mr. Olson and often remark still to this day how he was their favorite teacher and even their reason for entering into the education field as well. He also held various odd jobs during summers to help support his family. Prior to teaching, he worked at the A&P Grocery chain and Bark River Company.
Gerald was a member of the National Guard prior to marrying Janice.
Gerald is survived by his beloved wife, Janice; a son, Jeffrey (Sonni Lauren) Olson, Superior, Wis., and children, Greyson, Cade and Avery; a daughter, Jyl (Scott) Olson-DeRosso, Ironwood, and their children, Scott (Chelsea and children, Skylor and Ayrianna), Courtney (Cody Mahler and child, Dominik) and Zachary; his sister-in-law, Debra (Glen) Wahlberg, Ironwood, and their children, Gregory (Christina and child, Lydia) and Meghan; and numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Dorothy Krueger and Jeanette Pfeffer; two brothers, Larry Olson and Donald Olson; his mother-in-law, Geraldine Hautala; and two brothers-in-law, Darrell Hautala and Arthur Pfeffer.
Gerald's passion was his family. He loved his wife and children and his relatives with all of his heart. His time away from work was usually always spent either with his family or working on something for his family. He was very handy in all facets of life and was therefore the family's handyman for all projects big and small. From remodeling numerous houses to building a garage to fixing vehicles to building docks and rafts for the family's Pine Lake cabin, Gerald completed them all in a very detailed manner. When he didn't have a specific family project to work on, he loved puttering in his garage. He also loved his annual trips to Florida during retirement with his wife and mother-in-law, Geraldine. Gerald always had a smile and loved to joke and tease, making him a favorite of family, friends, students and people in general.
Per Gerald's wishes, cremation will take place.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 30, at 1 p.m., preceded by a family visitation at 11:30 a.m., and general visitation at noon, at the Cornerstone Church, N10344 Mill St., in Ramsay, with the Rev. Todd Winkler officiating.
A luncheon will be served at the church fellowship hall upon conclusion of the service.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at lakesidememorialchapel.com.