Ricky “Rick” Allen Olson, 66, of Brooten, Minnesota died as the sun rose on Saturday, September 19, 2020 surrounded by family and loved ones at his lake home on Lake Mary near Alexandria. All who knew and loved Rick are invited to an outdoor memorial service in his honor beginning at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, September 26th at East Norway Lake Lutheran Church Cemetery, 16720 68th Street NW, New London, MN 56273. The officiant will be Rev. Wayne Kopitzke. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Please note: the church building remains closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Appropriate social distancing guidelines will be observed, the use of facial masks is recommended when social distancing is not possible, and guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs as seating will not be provided. It should also be noted that restroom facilities will not be available onsite. Any friends or family who are not able to attend the service on Saturday morning are welcome to stop by Rick and Cathy’s home on Saturday after 1:00 P.M. to express their condolences and share memories with the family.
Ricky “Rick” Allen Olson was born on August 16, 1954 in Willmar, Minnesota to LeeRoy and Deloris (Lansverk) Olson. He grew up on his family’s farm in rural Sunburg, and was baptized and confirmed at East Norway Lake Church. Remember the stories of kids packing their pockets with warm potatoes to walk uphill to school? That was Rick, walking to District 29 elementary. After surviving those long walks, he graduated to riding the school bus, and graduated in 1972, from Brooten High School. As a young man, Rick worked on the family farm as well as other farms in the area. (Ask him, and he would tell you that Lance Edmond had the heaviest bales of hay around.)
After high school, Rick attended Willmar Vocational Technical School where he studied Carpentry. He started working with Nelson Construction Company and went on to work for Skare Construction for many years. In 1989, Rick began working as a Custodial Engineer at BBE School District. In 2016, he co-founded “Retirement, Inc.” with his best friend and brother-in-law, Charles “Jim” Syverson. As co-CEOs, Rick and Jim spent many happy days fishing, scheming up pranks and “shopping” on K-Bid. Sadly, “Retirement, Inc.” was short-lived due to Jim’s sudden and unexpected death in 2017.
If Rick were here today, he would say that the best part of his life was meeting and spending his best years with his wife, Cathy. Cathy and Rick were together from 2009 until his death, and were best friends for many years before. Their love was deep, and it is thanks to Rick and Cathy that their family tree has grown many more branches, interwoven with new friendship and love.
Rick’s was an avid sportsman his entire life. Prior to developing neuropathy in his legs, he was a passionate duck, pheasant, turkey and deer hunter. When hunting became too difficult, he turned his attention to fishing, fishing, and more fishing - usually with son-in-law, Jeremy and often grandson, Jake, or his fishing buddies, Tommy, Clark, Jerry, Dan, Jeff, Brad and Jami. Countless hours were spent working to catch their daily limit in walleye. Rick was also a skilled gardener who loved cooking, grilling and trying different recipes. Each year he and Jeremy would strive to perfect their potato sausage recipe. Rick could often be found in “his office” (a.k.a. his truck) reading the paper, visiting with friends in his garage while smoking meats, tapping and making maple syrup and - on occasion - drinking an Old Mil or his signature drink, the “red snapper.” He loved dogs and had several German shorthairs, one Polly, one Duke, and the rest all named Duchess.
Rick was also affectionately known as Ole, Stirstick and Ricky Bobber. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and best friend. Rick was the one person you knew would always be there for you, for support, advice, and steadfast friendship.
Rick was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2020. In accordance with his wishes, Rick’s body was donated to the Mayo Clinic Bequest Program in Rochester to be used for medical education, research and surgical training, and the development and testing of new surgical devices and techniques.
Rick is survived by his wife, Cathy Olson of Brooten; their children: Elise (and Jeremy) Nelson of Paynesville, Megan Rodgers of Mayer, Michael and David Rodgers, both of Brooten; three grandchildren, Madison, Jake and Bria; his brother, Brad (and Wendy) Olson of Andover; his sister, Linda Syverson of Paynesville; his nephew, Jami (and Christy) Syverson; three nieces Meghan (and Ben) Johnson, Kelly (and Al) Rooney, Lacey Scheierl; his nephew Dustin (and Maria) Olson; close family members Matthew, Jackie, Brian, McKenzie; along with many great nieces and nephews, dear family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, LeeRoy and Deloris Olson; granddaughter, Kylie Larson; brother-in-law, Jim Syerson; and his aunt and uncle, Doris and Oral Lansverk.
To send flowers to Rick's family, please visit our floral store.