OLSON, Richard David, "Ole", age 77, formerly of Northfield passed away Monday, October 30, 2017. He was born at home near Ostrander Minnesota on November 7, 1939 to Julius Olson and Gladys (Larson) Olson.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, November 3 at 11:00 at Our Savior's Lutheran 1549 East Ave, Zumbrota, MN 55992 Zumbrota. Visitation will be at 10:00. Interment at the Bloomfield Cemetery in Ostrander, Minnesota.
He was a 1957 graduate of Spring Valley High school with letters in Football (Captain) Basketball (Captain), Band, Choir and Drama. He received his BS in Mathematics in 1962 and MBA in 1968 from the University of Minnesota. He married Lela Ione Wermager of Rushford at Highland Prairie Lutheran church on November 19, 1960. He was a charter member of Zion Lutheran church in Cottage Grove, a 37 year active member of St. John's Lutheran church, and a 3 year member of Our Savior' Lutheran church in Zumbrota where he was residing until his death.
Richard was a faithful patriot and political strategist. He was a caucus delegate several years, campaign manager for Tom Reese and Bill Macklin State Representatives, volunteer and donator to Congressmen John Kline and Arlen Erdahl, Governor Al Quie, and he was invited to and attended President Ronald Reagan's first term inaugural.
Employed for 46 years in the Defense industry by Lockheed Martin and predecessor companies, he was involved in the acquisition of significant contract wins and held many engineering roles, including Chief Project Engineer on several top secret military contracts. He once orchestrated a demo for the Shipboard Integrated Processing and Display System (SHINPADS) Serial Data Bus (SDP) program for Dr. Bill Perry who later became Secretary of Defense. He was the lead program engineer on the US Airforce Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center, a $100M plus program designed, built and tested just in time to control the war in Desert Storm.
Richard was extremely proud of his Norwegian heritage and upbringing. He was loved by his family and friends from all phases of his life and will be missed by all.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 54 years Lela Ione Wermager, his sister Ellen Grabau, father Julius Olson and mother Gladys (Larson) Olson.
He is survived by his children Pamela Olson (Burnsville), Kristine Olson (St. Paul), and David Olson (Perham); his grandchildren Alexandra Olson, Erika Olson, Zachry Olson, and Sophie Vass; his siblings Julie Skogen, Robert Olson, Sharon Mathison, and Philip Olson along with many cousins, nieces,
Ole was a wonderful friend to me and pretty much everyone he met. It was a privilege to work with him on Syttende Mai luncheons over the years. I will miss him, as will all his friends from Lockheed Martin.
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