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M. Willard "Willie" Olson
September 22, 1923 - November 4, 2017

Place of Birth: Williston, ND
Residence: Rural Ray, ND
Age: 94

M. Willard “Willie” Olson, 94, of Ray, ND went to be with his Lord in heaven on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at the CHI St. Alexis Hospital in Williston, ND surrounded by his loving family, those that were by his side and those that were there in their hearts.

Willie was born September 22, 1923 to Nels and Ragna (Nelson) Olson in Williston, North Dakota.
He began his education in a country school and graduated from Ray High School. While in high school, he was very active in sports, including football, basketball and baseball. He continued to play baseball into his adult life. After high school he was a mechanic in Ray and helped his dad on the family farm, eventually taking it over. He was also an agent for Farmer’s Union Insurance for many years.

He married the love of his life, Violette Hauge, on March 29, 1950. They were blessed with 5 children Dick, Kay, Randy, Bobbi, and Colleen, 14 grandchildren, and 24 1/2 great grandchildren. They recently celebrated 67 years of wedded bliss. In their younger years you could find them “do-sido”
ing around the square dance floor most weekends. Willie also was a square dance caller for many years. He loved music and sang his entire life. In their later years they were snowbirds, driving their motor home every winter to Las Vegas for a much deserved time to relax in the sun. The family farm was his favorite place to be. His love of the land was also made evident while he worked for the soil conservation district, planting over a million trees in northwest North Dakota. He was a talented woodworker and inventor, fabricating several pieces of equipment that were used for many years on the farm. Willie was very community minded, belonging to many service clubs and serving on many boards including the Ray school board and Bethel Nursing Home.

His love of sports continued his entire life. He was an avid Vikings and Twins fan and attended many games with his family. He loved to fish and golf and got a hole in one at the age of 80. Willie’s strong faith was an important part of his life. Every evening meal was started with devotions at the supper table. His well worn bible made every move that he and Violette made in the past several years. He taught all of us the importance of family and unconditional love. Willie’s sense of humor never left him. He put a smile on most everyone’s face he met. He was known for his many one liners, including “you are as handy as a pocket on a shirt”. His grandchildren will also remember his funny way of saying peek a boo and bouncing on his knee. He loved Christmas time at the farm with his family. His grandkids will always remember the many crazy sled rides he gave them behind the pickup or snowmobile, piling on as many grandkids as he could on his homemade sled.

He is survived by his soulmate and wife, Violette, his son Randy (Debbie) Olson, daughter-in-law Diana Olson, and daughters Kay (Doug) Schmidt, Bobbi (Dick) Wendt, and Colleen (Scott)
Hodenfield. His grandchildren Janna (Aaron), Casey (MacKenzie), Kylee (Josh), Angela (Shane), Sara (Kevin), Steven (Sara), Ryan (Lisa), Jodie (Adam), Andy (Kaycee), Stephanie (Jeremy), Darin, Cody (Zoe), Braden, McKenna, and 24 1/2 great grandchildren, a sister-in-law Betty Weyrauch along with
many nieces and nephews.

Loved ones waiting to greet him in heaven include his son Dick, his parents and his siblings Floyd, Lester, Elvera, Evelyn, Vivian, and Doreen.

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Carla (Ray, ND)
Nov 5, 2017
Dear Olson family,
Saint Willy and family friend leads the way to a better life from this broken world. I will definitely miss his humor and good nature at our family get togethers. Treasure the memories made and continue to share them. Sincerely, Carla
Ty Langager (Minot, N.D. )
Nov 7, 2017
In reading the contributions Willie made to Ray I was reminded of the contributions Dick and Diana made to Minot. A family tradition. Be at ease.
Ty Langager (Minot, N.D. )
Nov 7, 2017
In reading the contributions Willie made to Ray I was reminded of the contributions Dick and Diana made to Minot. A family tradition. Be at ease.
C'Dale (Jenner McBride) Jore (Williston, North Dakota)
Nov 8, 2017
Tom & I along with my parents, Harry & Mavis Jenner, were square dance friends. What glorious days those were! Your family was blessed to have Willie in your lives! With our sympathy, C'Dale & Phil
J. E (Atlanta , Georgia )
Nov 10, 2017
My sincere condolences to the Olson family. Cherish the fond memories of Willie and may you be comforted and strengthened by the promising words of Revelation 21: 3,4.
Roger and Anne Lowers (Williston, N D)
Nov 12, 2017
I am Kermit Pederson's daughter, and I have often heard him speak of Willie, and of different things they had done together. We were sorry to hear of his passing, but maybe he and dad will get a chance to catch up.. Our condolences to his family.
Betty
Nov 15, 2017
I am so sorry for your loss. May the words of our loving heavenly Father bring your family comfort and strength during this most difficult time as He promises to bring our loved ones back to life in a perfect world where there will be no more suffering or death (John 5:28-29 & Revelation 21:4).
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