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James Eugene "Gene" Olson

November 18, 1926 April 6, 2020
James Eugene "Gene" Olson
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Obituary for James Eugene "Gene" Olson

James Eugene “Gene” Olson passed away on April 6, 2020 at Ames, Iowa. He was born on November 18, 1926 at Webster City, Iowa to James C. and Millie B. Olson.
He was baptized and confirmed at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Jewell, Iowa. He attended Cairo rural school, three quarters of a mile south of the farm. Gene graduated in 1944
from Jewell High School.
On September 11, 1953 he married Ruth Marie Erickson at Bethesda Lutheran Church. Three sons were born to this union: Douglas Eugene, Gregory Scott and Michael Lyndon.
He served in the United States Army Reserve for five years. He served in the United States Army Reserve for five years. He was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, rural Jewell.
From an early age Gene showed a love for travel. At age 16 he went alone by train to visit his sister who was working during WWII at a USO Canteen in Hollywood, California. He traveled to Wyoming and many other places to connect with family and friends.
Farming was his primary vocation. Over the span of his lifetime farming evolved from draft horses to powerful tractors and equipment. He raised and fed cattle, hogs and sheep as well as keeping horses.
As time permitted, Gene delivered Winnebago motor homes across the country, with special trips that included Ruth to Niagara Falls and Alaska. He always loved automobiles, occasionally selling cars when not too busy farming. In 1973-74, while the family lived in Cheyenne, Gene became the top salesman at Cheyenne Dodge. Back in Iowa, he served as Field Man for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
Gene has been described recently with affection as a “connector” and he certainly was. He loved his family and brought them great adventures with amazing determination. He had a wide circle of friends. He loved the Iowa State Fair, the Nebraska Sandhills and Cheyenne Frontier Days, visited all of them annually – and had dear friends to see at each. Gene connected with people and they trusted him. He was a 4-H leader for fifteen years and an honorary FFA Chapter Farmer. He liked cattle and horses and enjoyed cattle shows and trail rides. He loved dogs his entire life. There was always a terrier on the farm from the time he was a boy to the present. Smoky, the terrier (aka Yogi), visited Gene at the hospice house.
Gene treasured his grandchildren, Megan and Dan, and his great-grandchildren Annika, Asher and Lyra. He greatly enjoyed being an uncle and followed quite closely the activities of his sister’s children Elaine, LeRoy and Janet.
He was predeceased by his parents, James and Millie, brother Melvin Olson, sisters Irene Billings and Almira Holt, and son Gregory.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Ruth; sons Douglas and Michael; grandchildren Megan Johnson and Daniel Olson; great-grandchildren Annika, Asher and Lyra Johnson as well as his several nieces and nephews and many extended family members.
The family, following Gene’s wishes, has designated St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the Iowa State Fair Beef Breeds Division
Attn: Beef Dept
PO Box 57130
Des Moines, IA 50317 for memorial contributions.

"God be with you 'til we meet again."

In this unusual and unprecedented time, of course, there can be no funeral as normal. And the family cares too much about all of you to expose you to any further risk.
It is the family’s hope that we might gather together at a later time to celebrate Gene’s life. This date and time are to be determined. For now, the family’s wishes are for the safety and good health of all and they thank you for all your good wishes and prayers.

To plant a tree in memory of James Eugene "Gene" Olson, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





1:30 PM 4/10/2020 1:30:00 PM
Evergreen Cemetery

Main St.
Jewell, IA 50130

Evergreen Cemetery
Main St. Jewell 50130 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


Evergreen Cemetery Final Resting Place

Main St.
Jewell, IA 50130

Main St. Jewell 50130 IA
United States

Memorial Contribution

St. Paul Lutheran Church - Jewell

3726 Nelson Ave
Jewell, IA 50130

Iowa State Fair Attn: Beef Dept.

PO Box 57130
Des Moines, IA 50317

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