On Wednesday Tammy’s Dad passed away. Don was a good man that left the world better than he found it. He was surrounded by loved ones right up to the end. Sharing and archiving a copy of his obituary, also published in Star Tribune.

Photo of Donald Olson

Olson, Donald “Don”, age 85, passed away peacefully at his home on January 17, 2024 after a long battle with COPD. In the days preceding his passing, he was surrounded by family and friends who gathered around his bedside and showered him with love. He was proud being a dad to 4 girls, was a wonderful grandpa to 9 grandchildren, and he adored his wife Kaye and knew what a gem she was.

Don was a man of strong work ethic, resolute faith, grit, kindness and wit. He enjoyed figuring out how things work; the man could fix anything! He was a small business owner, animal lover, Sunday school teacher, legendary softball coach, avid fisherman and hunter, storyteller, classic car enthusiast, fierce game player, talented water skier, and beekeeper. In his last few years as life slowed down he enjoyed throwing balls for his dog, growing pears and lady slippers, walks in his electric scooter, watching birds, sudoku, reading the paper, Bible study, orange juice, honey, and back scratches.

Born to Melford and Edith Olson on August 24, 1938 in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, he was the youngest of three and told many stories of the mischief he and his brothers Eugene and Roger got into when they were boys. Don served as a surveyor in the National Guard and worked for the telephone company before joining his father’s business Mel-O Honey, where he worked for most of his adult life. His brother Roger joined him after their father passed away and together they ran the best honey empire Minnesota has ever seen. Wife Kaye and Don enjoyed trips to Spain and England, cruising through Alaska, a European river cruise, and wintering in Arizona. Don’s greatest joys in life were his family, honey, boating, fishing in Canada, coaching softball, and the many dogs he had through the years — Doc, Sparky, Penny, Pumpkin, Rusty, and Teddy.

Don is preceded in death by his parents Melford and Edith Olson and brother Eugene Olson. Don is survived by his brother Roger; loving and steadfast wife Kaye; four children: Corinne (Denny) Daily, Tammy (Jamie) Thingelstad, Angie (Max) Lundeen, and Michelle (Hector) Fernandez; nine grandchildren: Mazie, Nora, Tyler, Levi, Elsa, Lucas, Stella, Axel, Ezra; and his dog Teddy.

Visitation will be held on February 8, 2024 from 4-7 pm at Washburn-McReavy Glen Haven Chapel in Crystal (5125 West Broadway, Crystal, MN) with a time to share memories at 6pm. Memorial service will take place on Friday, February 9 at 11am at the Grace Church Chapel (9301 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie, MN). Lunch reception to follow. Memorial donations to Village Schools of the Bible, Grace Church, and University of Minnesota Bee Lab.

My sister-in-law Angie Lundeen created this video for the memorial service.