Ronald Bertil Olson, 82 of Denver, went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, August 5th. Ron can thank an aunt he never knew, for insisting his 16 year old father-to-be to eat breakfast before sailing from Sweden to America. It was April of 1912 and he missed his passage on the Titanic.
Ron was born on November 6, 1935 in New Jersey to Olga and Bert Olson. Ron lost his mother when he was very young and lived with various relatives in New Jersey, Sweden, and Russell, Kansas. He graduated from high school in Russell, Kansas in 1954.
When Ron’s father settled in Denver, Ron attended the University of Denver. He finished with a degree in Political Science, and graduate work in Guidance and Counseling. While at DU, he joined the Young Republicans, and has a favorite picture of himself introducing (a young) Bob Dole (of Russell) to Richard Nixon.
Ron met his wife, Jan, in the Career Class at Calvary Temple. They were married February 1, 1969, almost 50 years ago. They were blessed with daughter, Erika, who in turn blessed them with Russell “Rusty”. Ron and Jan have been ‘Mom and Dad’ to Russell for 17 years.
Ron had many jobs, but in 1966 he was hired as a Parole Officer by the Colorado Department of Corrections. He knew this was the work the Lord had called him to do. He had many ‘clients” coming out of the penitentiary, including Joseph Corbett who had killed Adolph Coors, III.
After his retirement in 1993, Ron served on the Arapahoe County Community Corrections Board. He stayed active in the Republican Party, even running for Colorado Senate in 2004 against Ken Gordon, who had never lost.
Ron was a member of Calvary Temple for many years serving as elder and President of the Bible Backgrounds Class. Ron and Jan took a favorite trip to Israel in 1988 with a small group from that class. He also served as a tour guide on several trips to New England and Canada with members of the class. Ron served several terms as the President of Colorado Christian School at Calvary Temple.
He was active in The American Legion Post 1, having served in the Navy. He held various offices at the Legion including being Colorado Flag Day Chairman. He was also a member of the Eagles and other organizations.
Ron loved to golf. A highlight was being a volunteer at the 78th U.S. Open in 1982 at Cherry Hills County Club. He loved to travel, and he and Jan took annual spring trips to Arizona, and three trips together to Sweden. Ron liked to garden, especially his iris, roses, and prolific tomatoes and zucchini. He was a devoted sports fan, having had Denver Bronco season tickets since his days at DU. Ron and Jan had Colorado Rockies tickets since Opening Day in 1993.
Ron was a loving and caring husband to Jan; beloved father of Erika Anne (Alabama), and Russell B. He is survived by his brother-in-law Gary (Lynda) Prickett of Fort Collins; sister, JoAnne Schmidtberger, and brother, Gary (Charita) Cunningham of Kansas. Ron considered JoAnne and Gary his brother and sister since they were all raised by Grandmother Cunningham in Russell. He is also survived by many dear cousins in Kansas, Arizona, Texas, and Sweden. He so enjoyed time spent with friends and relatives, especially friends Mike Pritchard and Hal Erickson.
Many thanks to The Denver Hospice, especially CNA’s Sylvia and Jamie who brought joy and smiles; and nurses Mary C. and Diane. Thanks to Pat and Kathy of Home Instead.
When Ron had hip surgery in 2010 he was asked to fill out the Five Wishes. He wrote down under how he wanted to be remembered:
“Never having a place to call home until Jan and I were married. I really loved our home, and Jan as our wonderful homemaker.”
“I really appreciate our Lord’s patience and love for me.”
“I want Erika and Russell B. to remember me with love and know how much I love them.”
“My concern for veterans, and their well being.”
In lieu of flowers and in memory of Ron please send any memorial contributions to The Denver Rescue Mission or to the Denver Dumb Friends League.