Charles (Charlie) Edward Olsen
October 7, 1928 - March 2, 2014
Charles (Charlie) Edward Olsen, 85, died at home surrounded by his loving family on March 2, 2014. He was born October 7, 1928 in Butte, Montana to Arne and Gabriella Olsen. A year later they moved to California, eventually settling in Modesto. Charlie is survived by his beautiful wife of 60 years, Jo Ann, four children, Susan Stephens, Jackie Olsen, Karen Springer, Chuck Olsen, and their families. His extended surviving family includes sisters-in-law Irene Olsen, Carmen Pemberton, and Beverly Watts, brother-in-law Jack Watts, three grandchildren, and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins. Charlie was preceded in death by his three siblings, Joan Southern, James Olsen, and June Amery.
Charlie served in the Army during the Korean War in the 20th Infantry, earning the Korean Service Medal with two bronze service stars and the National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars. Following his honorable discharge and returning to the Modesto area, he embarked on a career as an insurance agent encompassing more than three decades with Metropolitan Life and State Farm Insurance. Charlie was an active member and president for many years in Kiwanis, the Rotary Club, and Toastmasters in Modesto and Los Banos. In 1978, Charlie was inducted as an honorary member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in recognition of his heroic action administering life-saving CPR to a VFW member in cardiac arrest.
In his years of retirement, Charlie's dedication to public service continued with more than fifteen years as an esteemed volunteer in STARS with the Stanislaus County Sheriff Department. He enjoyed many outdoor adventures including hiking, camping, fishing, and biking. As his computer savvy skills matured, family and friends enjoyed his frequent humorous and educational emails. His positive attitude, infectious laugh, and kind spirit will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Family and friends will gather at a graveside service on Friday, March 14, 2014 at 12:30 at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery at Santa Nella, with a private celebration of Charlie's life to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Diabetes research, Hospice, or any other
Published in the Modesto Bee on Mar. 9, 2014