Ronald G. Olson, age 80 of Grove City, MN died on Tuesday January 14, 2020 at the Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield. Family and friends may gather from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral and Cremation in Litchfield on Sunday January 26, 2020. Interment will be in the Burr Oak Cemetery.
Ronald Gerald Olson, the son of Nels and Violet (Larson) Olson was born in Litchfield on July 5, 1939. Ron’s Uncle Norvan would tell everyone later that the family had to miss the fireworks that year due to his birth. During his growing up years, Ron lived in rural Litchfield, Eagle Bend and then Staples. All through these years, Ron was very much involved in the day to day farming activities with his Dad. He started out at a young age milking cows by hand along with using horses and then steel wheeled tractors for crop farming. Even after leaving home and working for Grove City area farmers Wilbert and Clifford Hedtke along with his Uncle Norvan Larson, Ron would still travel home to help his Dad with the farming responsibilities.
Ron was drafted into the Army. He went to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for basic training and his medical training was at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. After his training, he was transferred to Hawaii where he helped give physicals to veterans going to Vietnam. This job lasted until the Army needed help in the motor pool and they found out that Ron knew his way around a motor. He was then transferred and worked on trucks and jeeps. The months spent in the motor pool were the highlight of his military service.
After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army, Ron moved north of Grove City. He worked with his Uncle Norvan and he met and married Mary Beth Miller. Together they purchased a farm in Swede Grove Township and raised their sons Joseph, Kelly and Greg. Ron used the skills he learned working with other farmers and applied them to managing his own farm. Now instead of milking by hand, he had a stanchion barn with milking machines hanging under the cows. The farm was a busy place and it took the whole family helping out to make it a successful business as he milked cows, raised young stock, and raised corn, oats and alfalfa to keep the animals fed. Maintaining the farm and raising a family were very important things in Ron’s life.
Ron was united in marriage to Deb Marnich on February 26, 1989 at the New London Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ron was an active member of the SDA Church both in New London and later in Litchfield. Ron milked cows until 1996 and then continued on with crop farming soybeans and corn until his retirement in 2005. When Ron retired, he made arrangements to have the farm rented by Clifford Johnson who then certified the land for organic farming.
Ron truly loved farming and being out of doors. He enjoyed working with the animals and having them around as well. The barn always had cats that waited anxiously for him to call when he was cleaning out the strainer after milking. Often times you could see Ron bringing food out to the barn for his cats. Ron also was very active at maintaining a low squirrel, raccoon and pocket gopher population on the farm. He spent the free time he had out in the garden where he weeded and harvested a bounty of vegetables that were enjoyed by his family all winter. After retirement you could find him in the shop tearing apart old machinery, so it could be recycled for scrap metal.
When Ron was able to be talked into leaving the farm for a trip, he enjoyed visiting his sons in Indiana, North Carolina and Iowa. Family gatherings in Minnesota were also common. Ron went on a trip to Duluth to see the lift bridge and the Maritime museum and up the north shore to visit Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls. There was a trip to Chicago to go to the top of the Sears Tower and John Hancock Center. Ron’s feed salesman set up a special tour of the Moorman’s feed plant in Quincy, IL for him one year, and Ron also explored the Mark Twain cave on the Mississippi River in Hannibal, MO.
Ron is survived by his wife of 30 years, Deb Olson of Grove City, MN. In Spencer, Indiana Ron is survived by his son Joseph, and wife Laura, Granddaughter Delight and her fiancé Wyatt and Granddaughter Bethany. In Tyner, North Carolina Ron is survived by his son Kelly and wife Annie, Grandson Jacob Olson and step Grandchildren Austin and Hannah Roundtree. In Davenport, Iowa Ron is survived by his son Greg and Granddaughter Hannah Olson.
Ron is also survived by sisters Barbara (Tom) Jones of Falls City, OR and Joy (Dave) Harnack of Bertha, MN; and sister-in-law Addie Olson of Fort Ripley, MN. He is also survived by Deb’s Mom Jean Marnich; her sisters, Kathy (Don) Mead and Lisa (Tim) Redepenning; her brothers Dave (SuzE) Marnich and Mike Marnich along with many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife Mary Beth Olson; infant son Jerel Olson (1969); brother Irvin Olson; sister Eleanor Dietsche, and father-in-law Paul Marnich.