Reverend Orville Theodore Olson, 89, of Fargo, ND died on June 3, 2011 at Elim Rehabilitation & Care Center of Fargo, ND
Orville was born September 28, 1921 on the family farm northwest of Clarion, Iowa, the son of Ole Sirenus and Anna T. (Huus) Olson and was baptized and confirmed at Holmes Lutheran Church in Holmes, Iowa. As the first son (third of fourteen children), there were lots of chores and field work to be done, before and after school.
Orville attended country school and upon completion of 8th grade increased his work hours on his father’s farm. His attempt to enlist in the Armed Forces at the beginning of WW II was rejected because of a broken back at age 17, and his vital vocation as a farmer.
Orville and Shirley Carlson’s lifelong partnership began with their wedding on March 13, 1942, and continued for 66 years until Shirley’s death on September 12, 2008. To this union four sons were born, David, Dennis, Joseph and James. Orville and Shirley lived on a farm northwest of Clarion and farmed until 1960 when the family moved to Fergus Falls, MN for Orville to attend the Lutheran Brethren Seminary. Immediately after completing the diploma program, Orville and Shirley, with the two youngest sons (Joe and Jim), set sail forJapan on the SS Oronsay. They were house parents at the Lutheran Brethren mission school for two years. Shirley assumed additional duties teaching the missionary children in the one-room school for the 1964-1965 school year. When the Olson family sailed to Japan, they were accompanied by five well-packed 50-gallon drums and two large crates filled with their household items.
After returning from Japan, Orville served a 7-church parish in Greenbush (MN) where he was ordained in 1966; a 3-church parish in McIntosh (MN); and a single church in Hatton (ND). While serving in Hatton, Orville was the founding pastor of the part-time chaplaincy program at the Tri-County Home. Orville and Shirley moved to Arizona after his disability retirement on October 31, 1981. They returned to Minnesotaafter Shirley’s retirement at age 77, and later moved to the Fargo (ND) area so family members could better assist them.
Orville is survived by his four sons, David (Margaret Cotroneo) of Reston, VA; Dennis of Hastings, MN; Joseph of Minneapolis, MN; and James (Linda Erickson) of Fargo, ND; six grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren: sisters: Signora (Kenneth) Stolhammer of Hibbing, MN and Selma Lee of Bloomer, WI; brothers: Stanley Olson of Mason City, IA; Arnold Olson of Clarion, IA; Luther (Beverly Songer) Olson of Webster City, IA; Donald Olson of Dawn, MO; and Philip (Connie Davis) Olson of Urbandale, IA. Orville is also survived by a numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley, parents Ole and Anna Olson; sisters, Arlene Nelson and Jeanette Klooster; brothers: Merle, Paul, Joseph, and Stanley in infancy.
Glende-Nilson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls, MN