Roger Willard Olson
Mar 17, 1932 – Jul 19, 2018
Roger Olson, 86, passed away Thursday, July 19, 2018, at his Seattle-area home in Burien, Wash., with his beloved wife of 63 years, Dorothy (Strehlou), by his side.
Roger was born March 17, 1932, in Spokane. His parents were Marvin and Bernadette (Robinson) Olson. He grew up in Lewiston by Bengal Field, where he was only minutes away from the place where he could play and watch baseball, a game he played, followed and enjoyed his entire life.
In the Sports Inc. junior league, he played for his neighborhood South Side Runts. At Lewiston High School, he played basketball and baseball for the Bengals, and was on both the 1949 state high school and American Legion baseball Idaho state champions. In 1968, he coached his son, Randy's, baseball team to the Seattle Little League championship. Randy went on to pitch for the University of Washington Huskies. He was a lifetime fan of the Seattle Mariners.
Each May, he and Dorothy came to Lewiston, stayed with his old LHS teammates and watched the NAIA college world series. In high school, he was a good student and member of the Honor Society. Cruising around Lewiston in his Model A Ford up and down Main Street with his friends was fun. They would then all go to the YAC and play pingpong and pool, and maybe once in a while dance. After graduating in 1950, he attended North Idaho College of Education (now Lewis-Clark State College) for a year until the state closed it in 1951, making him a "Jordan's Orphan." He then attended the University of Idaho, where he belonged to Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. In 1955, he graduated with a degree in accounting and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
On active duty, he was a navigator on a B-47 jet bomber, and some of his stories were about refueling in mid-air. After three years of active duty, he stayed in the reserve for a long time and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was recalled to active duty twice, once for the Cuban Missile Crisis and also for the Pueblo incident. During the Vietnam War, his unit flew cargo into Vietnam.
In Seattle, he was an accountant for Boeing for 11 years and then for King County for 20 years. In retirement, Roger and Dorothy spent a few winters in Arizona and also did some world traveling.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, three children, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and his brother, Phil, who lives in Indio, Calif. His son, Dr. Randy Olson, and his wife, Debra, live in Seattle, as do their three children, Angela Larsen (Jordan), Kaitlyn Helton (Matthew) and Stephania Flege (Kyrre). Roger's daughter, Lorri, and her husband, O.C., live in Atlanta. Their children are Alex and Chase Miller. Daughter Lisa lives in Seattle. Her children are Rena Leago and Kyle Brown. His great-grandchildren are Luke Larsen, and Meta and Rikka Flege.
A military funeral is planned for Sept. 28 at the Tahoma Veterans Cemetery.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.