Hibbing - Donald “Don” Luverne Olson, 75, beloved husband and best friend of Jeanette (Johnson) Olson for 57 years, passed away peacefully on Jan. 21, 2013, at home, surrounded by his family whom he laughed with, lived for, and loved.
Family and friends are welcome to join at a visitation on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Dougherty Funeral Home in Hibbing. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the 11 a.m. funeral service on Friday, Jan. 25 at First Presbyterian Church in Hibbing. Interment will be held at Maple Hill Cemetery in Hibbing.
Don was born in Hickory Township, Pennington County, but lived most of his life with his family in Keewatin and the last 30 years in Hibbing. He was the eldest son of Julius and Mable (Bakken) Olson, also of Hickory Township (Oklee). Don was confirmed at the Little Oak Lutheran Church, Oklee, in 1951, and was a longtime member of the Congregation of the Good Shepherd Church in Keewatin.
Don and Jeanette were married on Sept. 17, 1955, in Thief River Falls. Don was the loving and proud father of his six children, Lonnie and his wife Debbie (Scofield) of Hibbing, Karen and her husband Ron Scheirer of Wellington, Fla., Kathy and her husband John Swick of Hibbing, Gary and his wife Bonnie (Elias) of Eagan, Rodney and Cindy Larson of Hibbing, and his youngest daughter Connie Olson of Hibbing.
Don was blessed to have 11 grandchildren, Jayson, Rachel, Jeff (Lisa), Adam, Chris (Jaimie), Kari, Kiersten, Brady, Landon, Garrett, Grant and six great-grandchildren, Austen, Aislynn, Brooke, Karson, Tory, and Tyler. He is survived by his sister, Lillian Myrum, of Keewatin; brothers Robert Olson (Bonnie) of Oklee, and Milton Olson (Susan) of Keewatin, along with many loving nieces, nephews and extended family.
Don was preceded in death by his parents Julius and Mable; and by his father and mother-in law, Edward and Anna Johnson of Thief River Falls. He was also preceded in death by his brother-in-law Selmer Myrum of Keewatin, Donald Johnson of Finley, California, and James Johnson of Renton, Washington.
Don devoted all of his time to what he felt was most important – his family and his work – and was fortunate to be able to find a way to combine that which he loved. He joined with his brother Robert to open Don and Bob’s Body Shop in Keewatin in 1962 and worked in their business until the early 1980s.
He found greater joy in working alongside his family members at his eldest son Lonnie’s business, Beltline Body Shop, “the shop,” in Hibbing from 1981 until late 2012 when his illness prevented him from the daily work that continued to drive him until his last days. Don and his wife Jeanette began construction on Olson’s Mobile Home Park in Keewatin in early 1974 and it opened in 1976, and again with the continued help throughout all the years from many of his children and grandchildren.
Don is recognized by his family and friends as a person that always took care of others before himself. His ambitious drive will remain a constant inspiration and his sense of humor will continue to bring a smile to all who knew him. Don’s leisure time through the past few years was spent often with a family member enjoying a few hours at a Northland casino.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Church of the Good Shepherd in Keewatin or to the North Star Hospice in Hibbing.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the doctors and nurses at the Essentia Health Duluth Clinic, and nurses at the Essentia Health Cancer Center in Hibbing, North Star Hospice in Hibbing, and to the many friends, extended family, and clergy that have been such a support during this most difficult and loving journey. Don’s wife Jeanette and the family give thanks to God for the gift of his life and the blessing of the time we spent with him.
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