Robert E. Olson
October 1929 ~ July 2019
Robert Edward Olson passed away at his beloved Farm surrounded by family on Tuesday, July 2nd. He was born on October 1st, 1929 to Ernest “Ray” and Margaret Olson in Oakland, California. He graduated from Hayward High School and enrolled at Cal Poly. In 1950 he was recruited to train at the Air Force Officer Candidate School and met Shirley on leave. They were married on November 1st 1952. He left the military after five years, earned a degree in Dairy Science and a Masters in Ag Education and taught agriculture and science in Dos Palos and Livingston for 35 years.
Dad called Mom “the love of my life.” He appreciated her beauty and fun personality, played many games of Dominoes and Rummikub with her, and always baked her birthday cakes from scratch. In retirement, he and Shirley enjoyed vacationing in Santa Cruz and traveling all over the world, often with their dear friends, the Nakashimas.
He showed his love to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in countless ways – taking us camping and fishing, building seed boxes with root viewing windows, painting signs for births and birthdays, making wooden games with electric lights, supplying prizes for Bingo, building tables for gatherings, growing and sharing vegetables, planting rows of flowers for a granddaughter’s June wedding, using his tractor to create a huge pile of fresh dirt with hose access for grandchildren to play “Chocolate Factory,” playing the “Squiggle” drawing game and teaching to draw in 3-D, playing Mastermind and cribbage, and grooming the Farm for family weddings, receptions, Thanksgivings in the barn and camp-outs. Luckily for us, Dad wrote over 100 stories about his experiences which we treasure.
Dad loved to learn. He read two daily newspapers and several educational magazines and was a Louis L’Amour fan. He was recently studying classical music appreciation online.
Dad actively served his community through the Lions Club, Merced County Libraries and the Livingston Medical Clinic. He and Mom hosted countless exchange students for parties, meals, brief stays and year-long visits. He truly believed that we can build peace through understanding one another better. Dad considered his teaching career to be a vocation and he put time, creativity and love into his work through his last day on the job.
Dad is survived by his wife Shirley, his children Rob (Peaches, recently deceased), Suzy (Dave), Marymargaret (Don), Mike (Susie), Katy (Jim), John (Irma), Janie (Nolan), Marshall (Tera), Patty (Mike) and Florie. He also leaves 32 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and his brother, Tom (Dorothy).
The family would like to thank Dad’s caregivers, especially Alejandra, Lorraine, Margaret and Covenant Care Hospice.
We will remember him at a funeral mass at St. Jude Catholic Church in Livingston on Friday, July 12th at 12:30 followed by burial in Winton and a Celebration of Life at the Olson Farm at 5:30.
Please share your memories at www.AllenMortuary.com.