Roger Olson, 64, of Wadena, died Monday, Aug. 10, 2009, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls, from complications of frontotemporal dementia, a form of dementia attacking victims in the prime of their life.
He was born Dec. 13, 1944, in Owatonna, Minn., to Clifton G. and Norma (Aaseng) Olson. He attended school in McIntosh, Minn., graduating in 1962. Following graduation, he attended North Dakota School of Business in Fargo, and later attended Bemidji State University earning a bachelor's degree in elementary education. While attending BSU, he met his future wife, Christine Johnson. They were married Dec. 26, 1971, in Hines.
He served in the Navy as a personnel man for eight years, from 1969 until 1976. His first tour of duty was aboard the USS Elkhorn, a gasoline tanker, during the Vietnam War. His second tour of duty was spent in Nashville, Tenn., where he was attached to the Recruiting Command. Both of the couple's children were born while stationed in Nashville.
He was an elementary teacher at Verndale Public Schools from 1979 until his disability forced his early retirement in January 2002. He taught sixth grade most of those years, ending his career by teaching computers to elementary students. His students likely remember their sixth grade year by their participation in the Olsonville project -- a city within the classroom.
He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church and a former member of the Mit-Ti-Quab Archery League. He was known for his love of computers, scroll sawing, walking and camping.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 14 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wadena. Pallbearers are Bob and Judy Schultz, Marlys McIntire, Steve Babcock, Lyle Haraldson and Dave Seaton. Interment is in the Lakeview Cemetery in Blackduck. Arrangements were with the Johnson Memorial Home in Wadena (www.johnsonmemorialhome.com).
Survivors include his wife, Chris; daughter, Greta (Jason) Seitz of Bemidji; son, Jonathan (Katy) of Hudson, Wis.; four grandchildren; brother, Clifton Jr. (Lois) of Goodyear, Ariz.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Alan and Nancy Swenson of Osceola, Wis.; and nieces and a nephew.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Bill and Evelyn Johnson of Hines; and a nephew.