Otto Bernhard 'Pa' Olsen
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Former Pepperell volunteer firefighter; 76
PEPPERELL -- Otto Bernhard "Pa" Olsen, 76, life-long resident of Pepperell, recently of Coopers Mills, Maine, passed away at Maine General Medical Central in Augusta on Saturday, December 28, 2013, after a long illness.
Born in Nashua, NH on February 20, 1937 to the late Harold B. Olsen and Dorice (Bradish) Olsen.
Bernhard is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Carolyn (Greeley) Olsen; his sons, Kevin L. and wife, Laurie Olsen of New Hampshire, Thomas J. Olsen of New Hampshire; and daughter, Kathleen and husband, Mark Newell of Pepperell; and his loving granddaughters, Faith C. Newell, Worcester; Danielle N. Newell and Sarah B. Newell of Pepperell.
He is also survived by his sister, Marjorie Bineau of Coopers Mills, ME; and his nieces and nephews.
Bernhard was predeceased by his brother, Harold B. Olsen, Jr. of Mississippi.
Bernhard grew up on Oakhill on the farm his grandfather, Otto B. Olsen started in the late 1800's. He graduated from the Pepperell High School class of 1955 and completed a two-year program in Agriculture from the UMA, Stockbridge. He was active in 4-H and won many awards with his dairy cattle
Bernhard became a volunteer fireman with the Pepperell Fire Department in 1966 volunteering thousands of hours over his 39 year career, serving as Captain of the Hook & Ladder Company and Deputy Fire Chief on the Board of Engineers. Bernhard was foreman of the Warren VFA hand tub and the family spent nearly every summer weekend travelling the New England states attending fireman's musters through the 60's to the 1980's. The Warren enjoyed an impressive record and reputation under his tutelage; always presenting a professional and polished appearance in the parades. It was a rite of passage for many of Pepperell's youth to be a member of the Warren team.
Bernhard worked for the Town of Pepperell as a Communications Dispatcher for 32 years. He was the voice of the 6:45 p.m. tone test and the calm voice on the line when you had an emergency.
Bernhard was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He enjoyed hiking, snowmobiling, fishing, boating, travelling and chatting. A quick trip to get milk could last for hours because he always met someone to chat with. He was an undemanding, big-hearted, generous, easy-going man who possessed common-sense, quick wit, a keen sense of humor, an incredible memory, a wealth of knowledge and a sincere enjoyment of the simple things in life.
He was one of a kind and the world is a lesser place with his passing.
In accordance with his wishes, all arrangements were private. Donations may be made in his name to the American
Published in Nashoba Publishing on Jan. 17, 2014