Marjory Olsen Olson of Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, age 92, a 1949 graduate of Fort Frances High School, passed away Friday, October 28, 2022, one day after her husband, Fred Lewis Olson. They were married for sixty-five years.
She was born as Marjorie Grant Olsen on September 14, 1930, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Henry Paul “H.P.” Olsen and the former Alison Brown Grant, of Norwegian and Scottish descent, respectively. Marjorie grew up in northwestern Ontario, along the Rainy River, where her father was a Canadian National Railway station agent. They began in Barwick, followed by Emo, and concluded in Fort Frances, where her parents resided for the rest of their lives. Marjory graduated from the University of Manitoba with a degree in Home Economics, then worked as a County Home Agent in Pennington County in northern Minnesota, from 1953 to 1957, an experience she cherished for her entire life.
Marjory Olsen met her husband, who received his Economics Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1962, through their work in 1956; they were married in 1957 and resided together in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They subsequently lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Fargo, North Dakota, before moving with their three children to the Washington, D.C., area in 1965, where they lived for fifty-one years. He retired from the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1984. They followed their daughter’s family to Ohio in 2016 and returned to Minnesota in 2018.
Marjory actively volunteered with the League of Women Voters everywhere she lived. Later in life, she earned a Paralegal Certificate from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in the early 1970s, and then worked as a paralegal, writer, and genealogical researcher in the Washington, D.C., area.
Raised in train depots and a lifelong lover of trains, Marjory played the piano by ear . . . with both hands, well into her 80s. An avid knitter and quilter, she could also cook by instinct, and midwifed numerous community cookbooks because her Home Economics training meant that she could translate “a pinch of salt” into an approximate measurement. Her worst failure in the kitchen came when she worked as a new product demonstrator – fried chicken should never be made in a Crock Pot.
Marjory is preceded in death by her husband Fred Lewis Olson, who passed the previous day; her parents Henry Paul Olsen and Alison Brown Grant; and sister Ruth June Ilsley. They are survived by their three children Peter (Christine Brincker) of Copenhagen, Denmark, Karl, of Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, and Kirsten (Mark) Madaus, of Saint Paul; and five grandchildren. Fred is also survived by his siblings in Wisconsin:, Ardis Amundson of Rice Lake, Bill (Clara LaBlanc) Olson of Clayton, Gurine (John) Gall, of Turtle Lake, and Thomas (Jan) Olson, also of Turtle Lake, and their descendants.
Condolences may be sent to the family at PO Box 16105, Minneapolis, MN, 55416-0105.