Martin Patrick Olsen lived a long, adventurous, full life - born and bred, lutefisk eating, 100% Norwegian! He died Oct. 2, 2016.
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Martin was born Dec. 20, 1922, in Lennep, Montana, to Norwegian immigrant parents Ole C. and Inga (Nelson) Olsen. The family purchased the Viking Dairy in White Sulphur Springs where Martin spent his youth. At 9 years old, Martin tended sheep in the Castle Mountains with his brother, Clifford. A highlight during high school was travelling to National 4-H Congress in Chicago at the age of 16 with his money pinned to his underwear! As a young adult he worked for McDonnell Douglas in California building Douglas Dauntless Dive Bombers during World War II. Shortly after returning to White Sulphur Springs, the new school marm caught his eye. Martin and Marvel (Fossen) married on June 2, 1945, in Joplin, Montana. Dad held on tight to his Marvel until her death in 2007. They resided at the Olsen ranch in White Sulphur Springs raising Champion Hereford bulls. During this time they welcomed David in 1946 and George in 1948.
Deer Lodge, Montana, became home in 1948 when the couple purchased Trask Hardware. Susan joined the family in 1952, Jan arrived in 1958. After selling Trask Hardware, Martin sold John Deere implements with partner Frank Shaw. Upon the death of Marvel's father in 1957, the family purchased a farm in Joplin, Montana, where they spent summers farming for 8 years. Deer Lodge again became their full time home when Martin became a partner in Haviland Insurance Agency. He obtained his real estate broker's license and sold real estate until his retirement. He served on the board of Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan.
Martin and Marvel cherished the friendships they made during their many years in Deer Lodge. They also enjoyed the winters they spent in Mesa, Arizona, especially their times spent with Errol (Marvel's brother) and Tessie Fossen.
His civic involvements included Kiwanis, Rotary, Elks, Deer Lodge school board, St. John's Lutheran Church, Tax Appeals Board. Martin was instrumental in bringing the Towe Antique Ford Collection to Deer Lodge.
Martin enjoyed fly fishing, hunting, hiking, golfing, skiing , bridge, and travel, including 3 Norway trips! His special place in the universe was Glacier National Park, where he loved camping, hiking, and picking huckleberries. Marvel often referred to him as "Huckleberrry Hound". He took the "road less traveled" and rarely took the same route twice. By his example his children learned to fish, hike, play bridge and whist, golf, put his tools away (George), and to have "sense enough to pound sand in a rat hole!" Traveling Montana with Martin was a 'lesson' in geography, history, ranch families, and who bought his Hereford bulls!
Martin was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Norma, Clifford, and Orrie; Marvel, his wife of 62 years; son-in-law John Dostal. In reference to his family, Martin said, "I am a lucky man." Survivors include David (Anita Braker), George (Ellen Vogelsang), Susan Dostal (Bob Wood), and Jan Bowers (Chris); grandchildren Jamie (Christian Simamora), Brian (Maria), Kara Libster (Michael), Nathan Dostal (Grace), Daniel Dostal (Jenny Bennett), Mark Dostal (fiance Tia Hunter), Rebecca Punch (Paul), Eric Bowers (Kate), Alison Bowers, Sara Bowers; great-grandchildren Madelyn, David, and Olivia Olsen; Christian, Angelis, and Samantha Libster; Amelia and Wesley Bowers; and Paxton Simamora. Martin is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, all whom were very special to him and Marvel.
Thank you to the caring staff of Shelby House and Rocky Mountain Hospice.
A memorial service celebrating Martin's life will take place at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 Graf St., Bozeman. A reception will immediately follow the memorial service at the church. A private family burial will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Martin's name are suggested to Reach Inc., 322 Gallatin Park Dr., Bozeman, MT 59715 or to Rialto Theatre, 418 Main Street, Deer Lodge, MT 59722. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Martin.
Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home & Crematory
3750 N Montana Ave
Helena, MT 59602
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 9, 2016