James Olson, 84, New York Mills, MN (formerly Donaldson, MN) passed away Friday, December 11, 2020 in Sanford Hospital, Broadway, Fargo, ND.
James was born May 19, 1936 as a twin, the son of Olaf and Gladys (Lyke) Olson in Donaldson, MN where he attended school through the 8th grade. He entered the Navy on January 7, 1954 and was honorably discharged on May 14, 1957. He worked road construction and that is where he met Doretta Hofmann. They were married November 26, 1960 in Medina, ND and just celebrated 60 years of marriage together. They made their home in Donaldson, MN until September 2018 when they moved to New York Mills, MN to be closer to their four daughters. James worked many construction jobs throughout MN and the Dakotas. Over the last 20 some years he worked for Simplot, Trans-systems and local farmers. One of his greatest accomplishments was receiving his high school diploma through the veteran’s office and Kittson Central School District 2171, on November 10, 2006.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Doretta; daughters Lea (Jerry) Oswald, Fergus Falls, Julie (Gary) Spilde, Perham, Lorrie (Mark) Lorentz, Moorhead and Jami (Mitch) Kolrud, Fargo. Eight grandchildren who were the light of his life; Kassandra, Lukas (Krystal), Markas (Ashley), Alexas (Garrett), Mitchell, Madelyne, Cole and Jake. Three great grandchildren; Jazmyn, Bekkam and Brooks. Five sisters-in-law and three brothers-in-law as well as several nieces and nephews whom he was very close to. He was preceded in death by his parents, father and mother-in-law, five brothers, seven sisters, three brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law.
James will always be remembered for his wonderful bear hugs and his laugh that was truly infectious. He made many friends by being a little precarious. He would always try to pull something on you if you were not paying attention. He was a very picky mower and took excellent care of his lawn. He also loved playing cards with family and friends. If he had your phone number, count on a phone call at least once a week. Once you gained him as a friend he would more than likely give you one of his famous “nicknames”.
Due to COVID, a service for just immediate family will be held at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, December 20, 2020 at United Church of Christ, 11 E Gilman St, New York Mills, MN. 56567. A graveside committal service will be held during the spring of 2021.
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