Services to honor and remember the life of George E. Olson will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church of Claremore. Interment with military honors will be at 1:30 p.m. in Woodlawn Cemetery. Family will receive friends for visitation from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday evening at Rice Funeral Service. Mr. Olson passed away Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. He was 92.
Born Oct. 5, 1924 in Hart, Michigan to Arthur and Cecile (Powers) Olson, George was raised on a fruit farm in western Michigan. He was a 1942 graduate of Hart High School. In the fall of that same year, he enlisted in the United States Army and entered the Army Aviation Cadet Pilot Training Program.
In March of 1944, George received a commission and the wings of a pilot. After B17 Transition School, he was given a crew and trained them for combat. He and his crew ferried a B17 to England and commenced bombing raids in the late summer of 1944 over Germany. After completing his tour of duty with the 8th Air Force as a Captain, he was discharged and entered the University of Michigan on the GI Educational Bill. He completed his education at rival Michigan State, graduating in 1949 with a Bachelor's in Marketing.
On August 30, 1947 George married Virginia Colby in Mason, Michigan. The couple moved throughout the United States as George's career in office equipment and computer sales led them. In 1979, he retired from the Burroughs Corporation and the family finally settled in Claremore where George started a new career with Northern Telecom in Tulsa. He retired ten years later and was then able to devote his time and attention to the community of Claremore where he was active in a variety of projects and organizations.
George served as Past President and Concert Master of the Claremore Community Concert Association. He was also an active member of the Claremore and Rogers County Historical Societies, a Rotarian and a lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge #70 where he attained his 32nd degree. A devout member of the First United Methodist Church of Claremore, he served as Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Other pastimes for George included his love of international travel, sailing and doting over his grandchildren.
This devoted Christian, veteran, community leader, loving husband, father and 'Grandad' will certainly be missed by those who respected and cherished him. His legacy will now be passed down to those family members who survive. They are: his wife of 69 years, Virginia Olson; children: Gregory Olson and wife, Bonita of Houston, Texas, daughter, Marcia Frederick and husband, Mike of Choteau, Okla.; grandchildren: Amy Gilmore and husband, Matthew of Seattle, Wash., Marissa Connolly and husband, Peter of Branson, Mo., Adam Olson and wife, Michelle of Houston, Texas, Ben Frederick of Choteau, Okla., Tracy Richards and husband, Brandon of Pryor, Okla. and Sara Frederick of Inola; five great-grandchildren: Ellis, Damon, Edison, Adalyn and Emma.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Arthur E. Olson, Jr. and a sister, Evelyn Kepley.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in George's memory be directed to the Children's Center at the First United Methodist Church of Claremore.
Published on December 6, 2016