Donald Jack Olson, 85, of Red Wing, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2023 at his home with his wife by his side. He was born July 22, 1937 in Minneapolis to Arthur and Thelma (Pearson) Olson. He started school in Cambridge, Minn. where his parents owned a men’s clothing store. Arthur died when Donald was in grade school and he and his family moved to the Dalbo area to be near his grandparents. He attended a country school until his mother was able to move him and his sister to Minneapolis where he graduated from high school and attended technical college. He met his wife, Marilyn Amadon, through mutual friends and the couple married on July 25th1959, a year after they first started dating. Together they would raise three daughters.
Don’s career in industrial sales took him all over the United States and Canada. He and his family lived in the greater Twin Cities area, the St. Cloud area, Owatonna, parts of northern Illinois, and Prescott, Wisc. before retiring to Red Wing in 1990. However, Don didn’t stay retired long. He worked for ProAct and then for Menards in Red Wing until just two years ago. He enjoyed being active in the community. He served on many committees and boards, including the Friends of the Sheldon, a few terms as President of the Library Board, The Goodhue County Historical Society, Lions Club, the Fiber Board to bring Fiberoptic Internet to Red Wing, and with SCORE, helping new businesses get started in town. If someone asked him to serve on a commission, committee, or board, he was happy to do it. Most recently he was working with the Charter Commission. He loved his volunteer work with the Sheldon Theater where he built sets and was the stage manager. He helped lead river boat tours with Marilyn and the together they were members of First Presbyterian Church with Don serving as a deacon and also as head usher for 8 years.
Don enjoyed building things. He once built a new addition to his home in 6 months while working full time. He also helped restore some special church pews after the First Presbyterian Church fire in 2002. He had a lifelong interest interest in politics and religion. He was also fascinated with astronomy and the origins of the universe. Despite a stubborn streak, Don was a caring, compassionate, positive, and uplifting advocate, both to his family and friends and the larger Red Wing community.
He will be missed by many, including his wife, of more than 60 years, Marilyn; daughters, Toni (Doug) Kubista of Owatonna, Tari (Scott) Brase of Rockford, and Dana (Ken) Rauhut of Wonder Lake, Illinois.; 7 grandchildren, Dane, Danielle, Courtney, Jason, Casey, Nicholas, and McKayla; 1 great-grandchild; sister, Darlene (Robert) Hassman; nephew, Mike and niece, Tina and his beloved Cat Heidi; as well as many colleagues and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and uncle, Ray Pearson.
A memorial service will be 11:30 a.m., Saturday, March 18, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Casey vanderBent officating. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com