LARRY OLSON Two memorial services are set for Monday, March 18, for Larry Olson, a man who spent a lifetime tirelessly helping people, both young and old. Mr. Olson died in his sleep on Feb. 21, 2013. He was 57. A Hesperia resident, Larry prized his family and his job serving Special Needs adults, but he also derived great joy from his avocation as a sports referee in the High Desert for fourteen years. His whole passion, besides his family, was his sports. Football was his favorite, but he loved basketball, softball and volleyball too. Larry was a longtime member of many Inland area high school officials organizations and also officiated in many youth sports programs over the years. He was always willing to referee whenever anybody asked him. Because Larry so loved his sports, the family is asking referees who come to his services to wear their uniform shirt for whatever sport they work. Larry was born in Madison, South Dakota on Jan. 7, 1956. As a child, his family relocated to California, which is where he attended school and later graduated from Thousand Oaks High School. In 1980, as a young adult, Larry learned construction which included building homes from the ground up. He still did the occasional house painting jobs in the summertime. After a stint in the U.S. Army and some time living back east, Larry returned to the High Desert and worked for Yellow Freight. He met his wife, Debbie through the organization "Parents without Partners". For the last 14 years Larry was employed by IBP of Victorville. As a "Community Trainer", Larry took pride in working with special needs adults, helping them to become self-sufficient. He picked up his clients at their homes every day and worked with them in many tasks, from shopping, to recreation, to part-time jobs. Larry enjoyed his work to a great extent, and was always there for his clients and coworkers, even if they just needed a shoulder to cry on. Larry loved the Lord and served him all his life. He was a member of High Desert Praise Chapel. He had a passion for singing and will always be remembered for singing "I Can Only Imagine" at a recent talent night held at the church. Larry was always fun to be around and shared his passion for sports with his church community. He would volunteer his time to referee the occasional softball games the church would host. Besides his wife, Debbie, Larry is survived son, Jeremy Olson of Apple Valley; step daughters Julie Palafox of Victorville and Katie De La Rosa of Brea; four grandchildren; mother Peggy Olson of Las Vegas; siblings Sue Maxwell (and husband Keith) of Henderson, Nev., Carolyn Carter of Tucson, AZ, and Ken Olson of Hampton, Illinois. A Graveside Service is set for 9 a.m. Monday (March 18) at Riverside National Cemetery,?22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, 92518. Following the graveside service, a memorial service will be conducted at noon at Inland Empire Deliverance Center, 1148 East Highland Ave., San Bernardino, 92404. A reception will follow at 12767 San Juan St., Victorville, 92395. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a memorial account for Larry at Alaska Credit Union, 16869 Main St, Hesperia, CA 92345 (Phone: 760 244-0455). It's under Debbie Olson's name.
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Published in the Daily Press on Mar. 17, 2013