Edwin (Ed) Olson, age 86, of Bayfield, passed away on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at St. Mary’s, Duluth. He was active taking care of his home, his pets, his garden, and enjoying his afternoons on the golf course until a fall and complications that followed.
Ed was born in International Falls, MN, the son of Effie and Edwin Olson, Sr. He attended Roosevelt High School in Virginia, MN, served as a U.S. Military Army Security Agent in Japan, earned his B.A. at U.M.D, and eventually landed in Bayfield where he taught at Bayfield High School, and he and his wife Pat raised seven children.
Ed was a man of many talents and interests. He was eager to earn his own money as a child and took advantage of opportunities to learn new skills when he needed to get things done or have some fun. His list of interests and jobs is long and varied: pin setter, movie theater attendant, projectionist, life guard, welder, foreman, swim instructor, dance instructor, pool manager, industrial arts teacher, basketball coach, volleyball coach, track coach, ski team coach, fishing guide for Dorothy Molter, volunteer with National Ski Patrol, serving for 50 years at Ashwabay; his interests and skills include being a lover of dogs (particularly large black labs) and cats, fishing, gardening, golfing, small engine repair – along with attempting to repair just about anything else that was broken and that he thought he could fix with nails, screws, clamps, glue, tape, braising, or welding - hunting (duck, deer, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant, woodcock), skiing, car detailing and repair, languages (he could still speak many Japanese and Finish phrases throughout his life as well as being fluent in Morse Code), canoe trips to the Quetico, furniture building, bee keeping, pig farming on a very small scale, turkey wrangling, lodging and housekeeping for a cottage, baking pies and making potica once a year, sewing (when he needed to repair ripped pants or other), foraging for mushrooms, reading, listening to music, orchestrating stupid human tricks with his children and grandchildren, and making a fine cocktail and sharing that special time of day with friends and family. Ed was also a wonderful joke teller. He never missed a punchline!
Ed, along with the love of his life, Patricia Olson, loved the outdoors and traveling. They loved the seasons of northern Wisconsin and enjoyed canoe and fishing trips to Minnesota and the Quetico. After he retired, Ed arranged a yearly cruise for the two of them, enjoying the relaxation and scenery of beautiful places far from home, but Bayfield was always where they wanted to be.
Ed is survived by his children, Tim (Suzette Psyhogios), Chris, Kathleen (Mike Radtke), Gretchen (Jim Meierotto), Doug (Mary), and Patricia (Rex Zemke); grandchildren, Heather and Shawn Radtke, Megan, Audrey, and Cole Zemke, and Ross James. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Olson, and his wife, Patricia Olson.
A celebration of life for both Ed and Pat will be held at Apostle Highlands Golf Course in Bayfield on July 29, from 4 – 7 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mt. Ashwabay/Ed Olson Memorial Fund.