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Olson, Gwendolyn Roberta

Gwendolyn Roberta (Bryan) Olson, King, Wis., formerly of Evansville, died Thursday, July 19, 2012, at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home, King, Wis., at age 90, of natural causes. She was born Nov. 14, 1921 in rural Evansville to Lizzie (Miles) and Robert Bryan. Gwen graduated from Evansville High School in 1939 and then worked at The Grange mercantile store, calculating totals in her head. She met a tall, handsome sailor home from World War II and Robert W. Olson became her husband on Feb. 3, 1948 at the Baptist church parsonage in Evansville. The newlyweds farmed near Edgerton and Janesville and eventually had five children. The couple quit farming while Ole studied for the ministry in Chicago and St. Paul. They then moved back to the Evansville area from 1959 to 1998. Gwen was a homemaker; her husband a mailman and farmer. When he retired, they bought a summer cabin near Iron River, Mich. near Golden Lake. They moved to Waupaca in 1998. In 2010, Gwen’s husband of 62 years preceded her in death. Gwen was a quiet, reserved woman, but with many interests. She avidly collected United States postmarks and stamps. Her entire adult life, she worked jig saw puzzles, word searches and read newspapers religiously. She taught her children to memorize the 50 states with capitols, bake bread, attended the Rock County 4-H fair, and played Scrabble endlessly. In the ’60s and ’70s, Gwen and Bob were fans of country & western music and traveled often to The Grand Old Opry in Nashville, with side jaunts to Florida. Gwen never missed Lawrence Welk and a Billy Graham crusade on TV. Perhaps she gained the most enjoyment from jigsaw puzzles – 1,000-piece marvels in her prime, and 100 piece teasers in her sunset years. She relished looking for deer with her husband or children in a slow-moving car at dusk. She was a fair, honest and Christian woman who spent exactly the same on her children at Christmas, even if it meant buying a small item to even out the accounts. Gwen is survived by her five children: Shirley Olson of Madison; John (Lisa) Olson of Poulsbo, Wash.; Paul (Pam) Olson of Coupeville, Wash.; David (Mary) Olson of rural Evansville, and Ruth (Martin) Diefenthaler of Waupaca; eight grandchildren: Joshua Olson, Leah Olson, Breann (A.J.) Cordy, Phillip (Michelle) Olson, Nicolas Olson, Evan Olson, Benjamin Olson and Daniel Olson, and two great-grandchildren, Coben Olson and Wyatt Cordy. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and a sister Madelene Rowald of Magnolia, Wis. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Evansville and later attended the Parfreyville Methodist Church in Waupaca. A memorial service will be held in the main chapel at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home in King, Wis, at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service. Her ashes will be laid to rest alongside her husband’s at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in King after the service. Memorials can be made to the memorial fund at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home, King, WI. The family of Gwen Olson wishes to thank the staff at Olson Hall for the loving care they gave our mother while she was a resident at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home. Holly Funeral Home, 526 S. Main Street, Waupaca, www.hollyfuneralhome.com

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