Kathryn June Brandli Olson
A virtual Celebration of the Life of Kathryn Olson will be held Saturday, December 5 at 3:30 p.m. Those who would like to join us are encouraged to RSVP at bit.ly/olsonrsvp for the internet link. Kathryn’s body has been laid to rest beside that of her husband, Leonard, in Warroad’s Riverside Cemetery.
Kathryn B. Olson passed away peacefully Tuesday at the age of 95. She was born June 16, 1925 in Warroad, Minnesota, to Elmer and Janet Brandli. She was the ninth child of their 11 children. Her high school graduation in March 1942 was from the agricultural boarding school in Crookston. After high school she went to Morehead State to receive a Bachelor’s degree where she met the love of her life, Leonard Olson, whom she married on June 10, 1948 in Warroad after one year of teaching in Oslo.
The newlywed couple moved to Pequot Lakes for a year of teaching, then spent a year in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where Leonard pursued advanced education before moving back to their home town of Warroad in 1950. After having two children there, the couple moved to Pillager and then to the Red Lake Indian reservation where Kathryn served as the Librarian of three schools. In 1966, after being a Minnesotan for 41 years, the family moved to Seward, Alaska, and in 1969 to Soldotna, Alaska. She lived for 54 years in Alaska. Her last month was spent in Orlando where her family, Terry, Robin and Molly, lives.
Since both Kathryn and her husband worked in the school system, they often traveled during the summer, visiting friends, relatives and attractions like world fairs and national parks across the United States, eventually visiting all 50 states. She had relatives and friends from coast to coast. After retirement Kathryn and her husband served a missionary school in Brazil two separate years and would spend time each winter in Orlando where their son lives.
She was an active member of the Soldotna Bible Chapel and volunteered at the Elementary School, the Senior Center and the Nursing home. She was a wonderful cook and entertained thousands of guests in her home over the years. Her yeasty buns and “Grandma jam” (made with raspberries from her garden) were favorites, and special occasions at the church were celebrated with her ribbon sandwiches and hand-pressed creamy mints. Many young couples “adopted” her as a mother and dozens of young people called her “Grandma,” receiving advice and following her examples in life and in love of her Lord Jesus.
She is preceded in death by her parents Elmer and Janet; husband Leonard; daughter Dawna; brothers Charlie, Edward, Roy, Ernest and Will; sisters Mary Kriesel, Ann Harris, Clara Mulert and Mabel Baggett; sisters-in-law Luella, Agnes and Fran; and brothers-in-law Art Kriesel, Keith Harris, Laurence Mulert, Claude Baggett, and Don Berry; and seven of her nieces and nephews.
Kathryn Olson is survived by son Terry (Robin) Olson, sister Evelyn Berry, granddaughter Molly Olson, 36 nieces and nephews and their families, and many who also call her Mom or Grandma.
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