Willard Albert Olson, age 87, of Cokato, formerly of Dassel, died Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, at the Hutchinson Community Hospital.
He was born Feb. 7, 1922, in Darwin, the son of Levi and Emma Sandberg Olson. Willard grew up in the Darwin area and attended school at District 24.
Willard entered the US Army in 1942, and served his country until 1946. On his discharge from the army, he returned to the Darwin-Dassel area.
In 1948, Willard went out West to find work, settling in Gales Creek, OR. In 1951, he started working for the Washington County Highway Department in Hillsboro, OR. For many years, he was the road supervisor for the county highway department.
Willard was united in marriage to Mary Louise Hundley Feb. 7, 1955, in Gales Creek, OR.
They made their home in Gales Creek, until Willard’s retirement in 1980, when they moved to the Olson farmstead in Dassel.
In 2007, following a stroke, Willard moved to the Cokato Apartments, where he lived until his death.
Willard was a loving father and grandfather to his children and grandchildren. He liked everyone, and enjoyed visiting with his friends, young and old. He never had a bad word to say about anyone.
A creative person, Willard made his own tractor and motor scooter. His hobbies included being a collector of guns, knives, tools, and coins.
Willard is survived by his children, Loren of Cokato, Donna Portillo of St. Cloud, Betty Olson of Cokato, and Billy of Dassel; five grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; parents; and granddaughter-in-law, Rachel Olson.
The funeral service took place Monday, Aug. 24 at 11 a.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel. Virgil Anderson officiated, with special music provided by organist Alice Steffel, who played “Amazing Grace,” “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” and “Beyond the Sunset.” Interment was at the Swan Lake Lutheran Cemetery in Dassel.
Casket bearers were Benny Olson, Jason Olson, Ethan Pepper, Steve Watts, John Bartlett, and Craig Kay.
Arrangements were by the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.