Obit: Richard ‘Dick’ Olsen, 78, Third Generation Olsen Construction President, Community Activist


Stillwater lost a pillar of our community last weekend.

Richard “Dick” Olsen, 78, died on March 1 surrounded by his family.

Richard "Dick" N. OlsenNIKON

“Dick was a remarkable man who did a lot of work and a lot of good for our community,” City Council Member Mike Polehna said. “He really loved Stillwater, and it was a sad day. We lost a really, really good man.”

He was on the committee to build the hockey arena, and he was instrumental in bringing the teen center to town.

“Sometimes I think he had 25 or 30 nonprofits he was sharing his time with,” Pete Miller, a longtime friend and the owner of Pete Miller Excavating in Baytown Township told the Pioneer Press. “He got up every morning at 4:30 to go into his office and do his charity work. Life was very good to him, and he was just such a giving person. His parents taught him well.”

Dick was the third generation president of George W. Olsen Construction Company. He was also a 53-year member of the Lion’s Club, member of the Veterans Memorial Board, founding Board member of Youth Advantage, active member of St. Mary’s Church, a football booster and Stillwater High School Class of 1953 graduate among many other things.

According to Dick Olsen’s obituary:

He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Marie (nee Wichelmann); children Jeff (Cheryl) Olsen, Ann Marie (Dan) Thurmes, and Jenny (Rob) Handberg; grandchildren Meghan, Lauren & Ryan Olsen, Tyler & Alexa Thurmes, Bryce & Mickayla Handberg; and by many very special nieces, nephews and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial is 11 a.m. Thursday, March 6, at Church of St. Mary, 423 5th St. S., Stillwater. Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Simonet Funeral Home, 6429 Osgood Ave. N., Stillwater, and also one hour prior to service at church.

Burial at St. Michael Cemetery in Bayport. Per Dick’s request, memorials preferred to Church of St. Mary, Youth Advantage, Christian Brothers Retreat Center, or to donor’s choice.

If a Facebook post Monday, Youth Advantage wrote:

“Dick Olsen, a founding Board member of Youth Advantage and current honorary board member, passed away on Saturday.

Dick was a driving force in Youth Advantage’s existence and active supporter of the organization. Dick was a man full of kindness, generosity, knowledge and wit. Every visit with Dick ended with him telling his “joke of the day.”

“After Dick retired as an active member of our Board, we continued to hold our Board meetings in the conference room in his office building and he would stop by our meetings to tell us the joke of the day. The Board counted on these visits and enjoyed a good laugh thanks to Dick’s humor. Dick will be missed by all of us at Youth Advantage and has inspired us to do more and do better, and we thank him for this.”

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