Robert E. (Bob) Olson, 80, of Rice Lake, Wis., passed away on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls, Wis. He was born on Sept. 21, 1938, in Canby, Minn., to Donald and Frances (Kruckman) Olson, the fourth-oldest of 10 kids, commonly called the “Olson Tribe.”
Bob graduated from Canby High School in 1956 and attended St. Cloud State, leaving before completion to join the United States Marine Corps in January 1957. Bob was stationed in MCRD San Diego, Camp Pendleton, NAS Jacksonville, NAS Olathe (Kansas) and finally MCAS Cherry Point (North Carolina) for his final two years as a GCA (ground-controlled approach) operator. Bob was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration on April 30, 1963. He was a control tower operator in the Twin Cities, Janesville, Chicago and then again in the Twin Cities.
Bob met Charlotte (Freeman) Schell near Madison, Wis., when he was weathered during a fishing trip (grounded from flying due to weather conditions) to Canada in May 1970. Bob and Charlotte married on Sept. 10, 1971. Charlotte had two children by a previous marriage, Terrie and James Schell, so Bob had a “ready-made family.” Later, they added on more to the family, Roberta Olson. Bob remained an air traffic controller until the PATCO strike walkout on Aug. 3, 1981. Beginning in 1982, Bob and Char owned a campground near Alma Center, Wis., until Bob went back to work for the Internal Revenue Service in 1987, retiring in 1995. Bob and Char then moved to Prairie Lake, Wis., near Cameron, Wis., and then near Rice Lake in 2006.
Bob is survived by his wife, Charlotte, of Rice Lake; son James (Michelle) Schell, of Racine, Wis.; daughters Terrie (Roger) Hicks, of Barron, Wis., and Roberta (Ian) Olson, of St. Paul, Minn.; grandchildren Aaron Hicks, Michael Schell, Justin Hicks, Allen, Charles, Meredith, Patrick and Jenelle Schell; and sisters Carol (Dennis) Stanley, of Buffalo, Minn., Sharon (Jerry) Schultz, of Montevideo, Minn., Mary Kontz of Buffalo, Minn., Beth Gillis, of Virginia Beach, Va., Peggy (Linnae) Mead, of Sauk Centre, Minn., and Deb Anderson, of Buffalo, Minn.; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Dwayne and Tom Olson; and sister Delores Brant.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Rice Lake, with Rev. Grant Aaseng officiating. Visitation will be for the hour prior to services at the church. Interment will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 15, at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Spooner, Wis.
Arrangements are with Rausch-Lundeen Funeral Homes, of Cameron and Dallas.