Donald Eugene Olson, 85, passed away on Friday, October 2, 2020, at Providence St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula. He was born in Fort Benton, Montana, on August 1, 1935, to Kermit and Irene Olson, the oldest of five children. Following graduation from Chouteau County High School in 1953 he attended Gonzaga University where he received a B.S. in Civil Engineering. In 1957, he started his 31-year career with the Montana Power Company in Butte, Montana, later completing the Public Utilities Executive Course at the University of Idaho. During his time with the Engineering Department for the Montana Power Company he worked on a number of projects, including serving as the 500-kilovolt Transmission Project Manager for Colstrip Units 3 & 4. He was fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of an early retirement program in April of 1988.
It was at the Montana Power Company that he met his wife Joan. They were married in 1971 and raised two daughters. A devoted son, brother, husband, father, uncle and friend, he had a strong connection to his Catholic faith. Before and especially during his 32-year retirement, Don enjoyed traveling, always planning the next trip. An avid sports fan, many of those trips were an opportunity to watch one his favorite sports teams. Don was still a season ticket holder for the Gonzaga Bulldogs Basketball program and until recently also for Montana Grizzly Football, part of the reason he and his wife relocated to Missoula 13 years ago. Some of his greatest memories were made during annual trips to Peoria, Arizona and Seattle to see his Mariners.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother-in-law, Jack McCabe.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Joan; two daughters, Lynn Olson of Boise, Idaho and Nancy Olson of Seattle, Washington; two sisters, Barbara McCabe of Fort Benton and Cathy Olson of Mosier, Oregon;, two brothers, Jim (Donna) Olson of Spokane, WA and John (Roxeen) Olson of Loma; and several nephews and a niece.
Cremation has taken place. Due to COVID-19 a private service will be conducted with a possible memorial scheduled at a future date. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home of Missoula.
The family extends their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Kevin Sheehan, the staff of St. Patrick's Hospital, and the staff of Partners in Home Care for their support in taking care of Don.
Instead of goodbye, Don preferred “To Be Continued”... a favorite quote from the late Father Tony Lehmann, S.J.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Donald and Joan Olson Scholarship, Gonzaga University, 502 E. Boone, Spokane, WA, 99258.