Ione Wuest Olson, age 89, died the morning of October 8, 2010 at the Villa St. Vincent home in Crookston MN. She was born in Glenwood MN on April 20, 1921, the daughter of Edgar and Florence ( Wuest) Wittwer. She attended all twelve grades and graduated co-salutatorian in 1939 from Glenwood High School, Glenwood, MN. She attended Milwaukee-Downer College in Milwaukee Wisconsin. In 1944, Ione graduated with a diploma in Occupational Therapy. She was first employed as a registered Occupational Therapist at the Veteran’s Hospital in St. Cloud, MN and then Fargo ND. It was at the Fargo VA Hospital that she met Ivan Iver Olson. They married in Bemidji MN on February 20, 1950 and they spent the next 44 years between the Glenwood and Greater Grand Forks, areas.
In 1954, Ione joined the University of North Dakota faculty as an Assistant Professor and established the OT department. She earned her BS degree in OT at UND in 1958. In 1960 she was awarded a scholarship by the March of Dimes to attend a psychiatric OT program in Omaha, Nebraska. She was an instructor at UND until 1980 when she retired.
Ione was invested in her community and often an inspiration for its betterment. Some of her accomplishments as an initiator and founding member include; the ND / SD Occupational Association, the East Grand Forks Senior Center, Volunteer Services in Greater Grand Forks, and a Recovery Inc. chapter. Mayor Louie Murray appointed Ione to a two-year term on the Community Development Advisory Committee, and she was named the female Outstanding Senior Citizen in 1995. She assisted in the implementation of the Fare Share food program and for 11 years, she conducted the 4th grade Grandparents essay contest in GF and EGF.
Ione has been an active member and served on many boards throughout her life. Some included are the Grand Forks Domestic Violence, Rape Crisis and Abuse committee, Seniors Inc., NW Area agency on Aging in Warren and TRF, the East Grand Forks Heritage Center, Greater Grand Forks Service Providers for the Elderly, East Grand Forks Community Education, Elderhealth, American OT Association, and the Red River Valley Fiber Guild.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ivan, her parents, Edgar and Florence, and sisters, LaVerne Philpot and Marjorie Ewalt. She is survived by three sons, Larry (Linda) Wittwer of Egan MN, Neil (Nancy) Olson of East Grand Forks MN, and Glen (Sandra) Olson of Grand Forks ND, her brother LeRoy Wittwer of Glenwood MN, 11 grand children, and 17 great grand children.
Funeral Service: 2:00 PM on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 in Stennes Funeral Home, 2029 Central Ave. NW, East Grand Forks, MN
Visitation: 5:00 to 7:00 with a 6:30 PM Prayer Service on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 in Stennes Funeral Home of East Grand Forks, MN
Interment: Resurrection Cemetery ~ East Grand Forks, MN
Online Guestbook: www.stennesfuneralhome.com
Arrangements by Stennes Funeral Home, East Grand Forks, Minnesota