Ralph Olson

Ralph “Ole” Olson, 82, of Willmar, died Sunday, July 19th at his home on Eagle Lake.  There will be a Celebration of Life from 2-5 pm, Saturday, July 25th with a Time of Remembrance at 3:00 pm followed by Military Honors at their home on Eagle Lake, 3116 N Eagle Road, Willmar, MN.  www.hafh.org

Ralph Arthur was born October 21, 1937, in Willmar, the son of Odin and Mildred (Pedlar) Olson.  He grew up in the Sperryville neighborhood and was baptized at United Methodist Church and later became a member of Vinje Lutheran Church.  He attended Willmar Public Schools where he enjoyed playing in multiple sports, but he especially loved football where he excelled and was Captain his senior year.  Following graduation in 1955, he continued playing football at Gustavus Adolphus College.

He enlisted in the US Army in 1956, and served two years in Germany.  After his Honorable Discharge, he returned to Willmar and began working for Nelson Construction and later Central Sheet Metal.  He started his own business, Olson Sheet Metal in 1969 and retired in 2007.

In 1960 he was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Eileen Lindblad.  To this union two children, Jillene Amy and Steven Lee, were born.  They lived in Willmar until moving to a home that Ralph built on Eagle Lake in 1978.

Ralph was a member of Masonic Lodge #104, Willmar Area Shrine Club, American Legion Post #167, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1639 and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #2334.  In 2016 Ralph and Eileen joined Calvary Lutheran Church where he was an usher and greeter.

He had many hobbies: hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, skating and swimming.  He truly loved caring for his lawn, keeping it spotless of leaves and debris. His beach was as meticulous as he would rake it daily, sometimes up to 2-3 times per day, making sure every pebble was in its place.  Ralph also enjoyed his weekly Harley rides with the Wednesday Night Harley Riders Group.

More important than anything were his grandsons.  His boys excelled in football, basketball, baseball and Ralph and Eileen put thousands of miles on to watch them. 

Surviving are his wife, Eileen; children, Jillene Olson and Steven (and Heidi) Olson; grandsons: Adam and Ryan Spading, Jeremy and Jacob Olson and Joshua Vlaminck; and two great grandchildren, Mackenzie and Mason Spading.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Catherine Hays.

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