Sept. 9, 1929 – Jan. 21, 2018 (age 88)
Wilford Laverne “Ole” Olsen, passed away peacefully on January 21, 2018 in Spokane Valley, Washington at the age of 88. A longtime resident of Townsend, Montana, Ole and his wife of 66 years, Mary, had only recently moved to the Spokane area to be near family.
Ole was born September 9, 1929, the oldest son of Christian Laverne and Martha Clara Olsen in Jamestown, New York. He attended school in Bemus Point, New York, and was an Eagle Scout who attended Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He attended Michigan State University from 1947 to 1951, where he graduated with a BS in Forestry. In 1950, he was a smokejumper for the U.S. Forest Service at Cave Junction, Oregon. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp, serving in the Korean War from 1951 until 1953. Ole worked in the private timber industry for nine years after his discharge. In 1962, he continued to serve his country, working for the U.S. Forest Service for the next 24 years, in Washington State and Montana.
Ole was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was the past president and life member of the Broadwater Rod and Gun Club of Townsend, Montana. He was a longtime supporter and contributor to Ducks Unlimited, his special cause. Ole carved thousands of working wooden duck decoys, many of which he contributed to DU events and gave away to family and friends.
He is survived by his wife Mary in Spokane Valley, Washington; his three children; sons Walt (Rosalind) Olsen of Olympia, Washington, Gus (Hope) Olsen of Spokane Valley; and daughter Candy Olsen of Kennewick, Washington; Sister Brenda Olsen and niece Karen (Dave) Bond and family of Spokane, Washington; Grandchildren Erica (John) Haycox, Craig (Shannon) Olsen, Rachel (Chris) Tarlip, Christian Olsen, JR and Rose Layton and 2 great-grandchildren, with a third on the way.
The family will hold a private memorial event in February and a small memorial service for friends and family in Townsend, Montana in late spring or early summer.