Dorothy Marie Olson

Dorothy M. Olson, 91, of Jackson, passed away on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at the Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Funeral services are planned for Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 10a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Jackson with Reverend Doctor Martin Lucin officiating.  Burial will take place immediately following the service at Hauge’s Cemetery in Belmont Township, Jackson County. 

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 from 5-7p.m. at the Osterberg Funeral Home in Jackson; and also on Thursday, one hour prior to the services at the church.


Dorothy Marie Larson Olson entered this world May 12, 1917, the first of seven children

born to Martin and Mary Larson. She was baptized in the Stahl Church on July 8 of that

year. When Dorothy was three, the Larson family moved from their farm in northeast

Jackson County to the town of Jackson, where she grew up, was confirmed at Our

Savior’s Lutheran Church and graduated salutatorian of the Jackson High School class of

1935. Dorothy always dreamed of becoming a nurse and that fall her dream became

reality when she entered Bethesda School of Nursing. She graduated as valedictorian in

1938, and for the next 50 years proudly called herself a nurse and practiced the Christian

principles of compassion, love, and service to others.

Dorothy met the love of her life, Glenn Olson, at choir practice in church. They dated

while she attended nursing school and were married on October 12, 1941. Glenn and

Dorothy built a new home on a farm north of Jackson where they began raising their

family. By 1947, they had two small daughters and a third on the way, and realized they

needed more space. They traded farms with Glenn’s father and moved to the original

Slaabakken homestead in Belmont township, becoming the fifth generation to live there.  Eight years later their son was born in to the family.  Dorothy’s nursing career was put on hold for a number of years while she raised four children and helped Glenn on the farm. In 1961 she returned to nursing, first working as a staff nurse at Halloran Hospital and later as director of nursing at Jackson Municipal Hospital. When ill health forced her retirement from active nursing in 1973, she turned her love of nursing and expertise to teaching nursing classes at Jackson Votech. Some of her students continue to work in hospitals and nursing homes in and around Jackson. Dorothy exemplified love — for her family and friends, for her patients, and for her church. Our Savior’s Lutheran was her church home and she enthusiastically participated in Bible Studies, quilting and women’s circles. The love of history and tradition she shared with Glenn led her to become his right hand in his many restoration projects, both at the Fair Village and later at Fort Belmont.

Dorothy was an avid reader, trading and discussing books with friends and family. She

started every morning solving the Crypto quip and crossword puzzles in the daily

newspaper. This became a competition within the family and no one could match

Dorothy’s expertise. She also loved to play games with her children, grandchildren and

great-grandchildren. Many an evening was spent around the dining room table playing

cribbage, Rook and Uffda. When she was younger, Dorothy enjoyed sewing and

needlepoint. As she grew older and was no longer able to do so, she turned her artistic

bent to decorating her house. She was always able to turn a house into a home with

personal touches around every corner.

Dorothy is survived by Glenn, her loving husband of 67 years, daughters Karen

Knoflicek (Bill), Kris Borchard (Kent), Solveig Nay (Darold), son Mark (Lori), 14

grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and also her sisters Ruth Hansen and Irene (Marshall) Nielsen and her brothers Ben (Barb) Larson and Gordon Larson

She was preceded in death by her mother and father, sister Laura Jean and brother Jackie.

Dorothy’s zest for living was contagious to everyone she met. Her beautiful smile and

laughter caused the world to smile with her. She will be so missed.


2 thoughts on “Dorothy Marie Olson”

  1. Louie Sibenaller says:

    To the Family of Dorothy Olson,

    I will always remember Dorothy as an intelligent, compassionate, caring, and loving person. She was a joy and an inspiration to be with. I extend my sincere sympathy during your great loss. The world was a better place with Dorothy in it.

    Louie Sibenaller

  2. Barb & Dean Wieskus says:

    Dear Karen and family, I am so sorry we will not be able to attend your Mom’s funeral. I have tests Wed. & Thurs. in SF. Please accept our deepest sympathy. So glad I got to say hi to her at the farm show.

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