Samuel Matthew Olson died peacefully with family at his bedside on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Dawson at the age of 74.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 11:00AM at Grace Lutheran Church in Dawson. Rev. Kendall Stelter will officiate and interment will be at Grace Lutheran Cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 25 from 5-7:00 PM at Grace Lutheran Church in Dawson with a prayer service at 7:00 PM.
Samuel Olson was born June 1, 1943 in LaCrosse, WI to Selmer and Myrtle (Jenson) Olson. He was baptized on June 2, 1943 at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in LaCrosse, WI with his baptism affirmation at Highland Lutheran Church, rural Lanesboro. He was confirmed on May 18, 1958 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lanesboro. He attended grade school at Fillmore County District 32 and graduated from Lanesboro High School in 1961. Following high school he attended Luther College in Decorah, IA graduating in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and Math. He then attended Winona State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and later completed his Master of Science degree in Physics Education in 1971. Sam married Mary Katherine Rostad on July 15, 1967 at Minneola Lutheran Church, rural Zumbrota, MN. Two children, Sara and Martha, made their family complete.
Sam began his teaching career in the Lanesboro, MN School District teaching Chemistry and Math. In 1967 Sam started teaching at Dawson-Boyd Public Schools teaching a variety of classes including Math, Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science until 2011. Sam was the Technology Coordinator for the Dawson-Boyd School District from 1974 until 2013. In addition to teaching he served as Student Council advisor for 30 years as well as advisor of the Photo Club, Ecology Club and Science Club. He was a member of the Dawson-Boyd Education Association and served as president for 2 terms as well as serving on several committees. Sam taught various classes for Community Education and was on the Community Education Board. In 2007 he was a semifinalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. After retirement, Sam enjoyed working at the Lac qui Parle County Museum in Madison, MN.
Community was very important to Sam and he served on the City of Dawson Planning and Zoning Committee, Centennial Committee, Bicentennial Committee, Project Future Committee and Dawson-Boyd School Reunion Committee. He was also a member of the Dawson Jaycees, charter member of Dawson Lions, serving as president and treasurer, Lac qui Parle Astronomy Club, Masons Atelier Lodge 202 and served as representative for Lac qui Parle County at the Minnesota DFL Convention. Sam also served on the Johnson Memorial Foundation Board.
Sam was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church for 50 years. He sang in the choir, was a member of the Church Council, president of the congregation, lay ministry board member, Sunday School teacher, Pastoral Advisory Committee, Visions Committee chair, Stewardship Board chair, and Bible study leader.
Sam had many interests and hobbies. Sam was always wanting to learn more and then passing that new information on to his students. He was an avid reader, loved music of any genre, singing and playing guitar and enjoyed going fishing. He was an amateur photographer who loved taking photos of nature, community and church activities as well as high school sporting and musical events. Astronomy was of great interest to Sam and he enjoyed sharing and teaching about the night sky, having his telescope available for star gazing. Sam’s love for the Green Bay Packers brought him much delight, living in Viking country although he cheered for the Vikings too, except when they played the Packers. His greatest joy was spending time with family, especially his grandchildren.
Sam is survived by his wife, Mary; his daughters: Sara Olson of Scottsdale, AZ and Martha (Bradley) Ragan of Banks, OR; three grandchildren: Jadyn Levi, Keegan Ragan and Lydia Ragan with another Ragan grandbaby on the way; numerous cousins, extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Selmer and Myrtle Olson and in-laws Peter and Constance Rostad.