Jan. 5, 1925-Jan. 23, 2013
CANBY – Services for Harry Olsen, 88, of Canby, will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Canby. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Sunday at the church with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in St. Stephen’s Cemetery, rural Canby.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to the Cornerstone Fund at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, PO Box 8, Canby, MN 56220.
He died Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at the Sanford Canby Medical Center.
Harry Richard Olsen was born Jan. 5, 1925, to Louis and Mary (Lund) Olsen in Canby. He was baptized and confirmed at Marble Lutheran Church, Lincoln County. He attended rural school in Marble Township and graduated from Gary High School in 1943. He married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Sanden on Dec. 4, 1949, at the Gary Methodist Church. Harry and Margaret were blessed with four children: Annette, Neil, Jan, and Dean.
During the Depression in the 30s, when Harry was a youngster, their family left their home in Marble Township and moved in 1939 to a larger farm in Manfred Township in rural Gary, South Dakota. When Harry and Margaret were married, they built a new home on land purchased from his parents. On this farm they raised turkeys, chickens, pheasants and built a state of the art cattle feeding system. In addition to his love of farming, this farm was his wildlife preserve which he shared generously with others.
All his life, Harry was a sports enthusiast! When area towns had independent teams, he played basketball and baseball well into his adult life. In baseball, he played in four South Dakota state tournaments while playing with Gary, and finished his career playing with Canby. He managed the Gary Junior Legion baseball team. Many nights during the cold winter, Harry would milk the cows early and referee Minnesota and South Dakota basketball games to supplement their farm income.
Harry was an active member of First Lutheran Church in Gary, SD, Florida Lutheran Church in rural Canby, MN and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Canby, MN. During these years, he served on various church boards and sang bass in church choirs for 64 years. Other community organizations were the Manfred Township board, Canby Vo-Tech Advisory board, and Canby Senior Citizens.
After retiring from the farm, Ole enjoyed watching sports of all kinds, restoring antique furniture, gardening, canning, making lefse, and attending his kids’ and grandkids’ events. He enthusiastically welcomed a game of cards and the lunch that followed.
Harry was humble, loyal and honest. Above all, he loved the Lord.
Harry’s happiest times were those spent with family and friends. He is survived by his loving wife, Margaret of 63 years: his four children: Annette Olsen of Glenwood, MN, Neil (Brenda) Olsen of Omaha, NE, Jan (Jason) Steele of Gary, SD, and Dean (Anne) Olsen of St. James, MN. His grandchildren include: Michal (Brad) Randt, Marin (Pat) Rajdl, Hannah (John) Shirkey, Emma (David) Larson, Brooke (friend Majid) Olsen, Seth (Christi) Olsen, Justin (Jessica) Steele, Kaleb (Brenda) Steele, Lydia (Mahmoud) Fall, Madeline Olsen and John Olsen. He is also survived by five delightful great-grandchildren: Annika, Addyson, Alia, Rylan, and Cooper. He is also survived by his two sisters: Eldeen (Arnold) Baer, Ona Woldt, his aunt Inez Olsen, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Harry is preceded in death by his parents: Margaret’s parents: Adolph and Rose Sanden, his grandson: Brett Olsen, brothers-in-law: Ed Gocka, Dewain Woldt, uncles, aunts and cousins.