Martha Catherine Olson, 96, of Geyser, a retired postmaster for the USPS, died of natural causes Wednesday, May 1, at a local care facility.
A vigil is 7 p.m. today at St. Cyril's Catholic Church in Geyser. A funeral liturgy is 2 p.m. Friday at the church. Burial will follow in Stanford Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Martha Catherine Olson was born April 30, 1917, at a farm home in Windsor, North Dakota, to Leo J. and Mary (Cegla) Zimney. They lived in that area until she and Oliver "Bud" Olson married Jan. 9, 1943, in Windsor. Bud was a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during World War II when they were married. They lived in Victorville, Calif., and Williamsfield, Ariz., until he was deployed overseas. Martha then returned to North Dakota where her parents lived.
She was employed as a secretary at Midwest Motors until Bud returned home in 1946. Bud and Martha then settled, farmed and raised their family in Geyser. Bud and Martha were married 65 years.
In 1966, she began part time employment at the Geyser U.S. Post Office and was then appointed Postmaster in 1978. She retired from the position in 1984.
Martha was involved in community activities, in school and in church. She was a key person in getting a community senior center built and was an active member holding every office possible. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her late 50s and fought against the disease every day. In her later years, she was confined to a wheelchair and electric scooter. Despite her confinement, she still managed to be active in the senior center, Catholic church and her community. Martha always was sewing, quilting, baking and canning. Even while in the rest home, she continued to bless others with her creative gifts.
Martha is survived by her children, Christina (Lee) Payment of Polson, Catherine Barron of Sheridan, Maribeth (Dave) Ellis of Bridger, and Joseph (Keri) Olson of Geyser; brothers Leo and Felix Zimney of Minneapolis; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Oliver "Bud" Olson; parents Leo and Mary Zimney; brothers Philip, Anton, Thomas; and infant brother, Paul.
Memorials are suggested to Geyser-Raynesford Senior Center, Geyser, MT 59447.
Condolences may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com