John Bertil Olson was born on April 17, 1924 in Lindsborg, KS. He passed away on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at his home in Salina.
John was the oldest of seven siblings born to Martin and Anna (Johnson) Olson, both Swedish immigrants. He was raised on the family farm southwest of Assaria, Kansas. John attended Assaria schools and graduated from high school in 1942.
The world was at war when John enlisted in the Navy in 1942. He served as a gunner’s mate on the USS Hailey until his discharge in February 1946. Anyone acquainted with John could tell that duties of a gunner definitely had an effect on John’s hearing! After his military service John attended trade school in Bloomington, Illinois with emphasis in drafting and carpentry. He began a lifelong career in construction with a position traveling the road with a bridge building crew for several years. He then worked for Michaelson Construction in Salina. After approximately five years with Michaelson, he joined Busboom and Rauh in Salina for the next 32 years until his retirement.
John was preceded in death by his parents; five siblings: Carl Olson, Mary Ann Dailey, Ruby Oldehoeft and Raymond Olson; four children: Melody Shirley, Barbara Harris, Nolan Olson and Russell Olson. He is survived by his wife, Mary, of the home, nine children: Randall (Hope) Brown of Salina, Tracy Olson (Jon Mills) of Salina, Christopher Olson of Salina, Tiffany (Paul) Hanna of Rainier, Washington, Melodie’s husband Michael Shirley, Johnny Olson Jr., Cynthia Hanadel, George Olson, June Eichen and Ingrid Mobely; twenty grandchildren; twenty great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
John will be remembered as the gentle and kind soul that he was. He has chosen cremation, and there will be graveside services for family members