William "Bill" Olson
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Helena —William "Bill" Olson of Helena, MT died of natural causes on March 29, 2014. He was 89 years of age and passed away at the VA Medical Center- Fort Harrison. Bill was born in Chinook, MT on November 14, 1924, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ole J. Olson. Bill was preceded in death by his mother and father, two brothers, Harry and Robert, and four sisters, Elsie Olson, Anna Wingard, Hilga Swenson, and Osa Howe.
Surviving Bill are his wife of 62 years, Gloriann; sons Doug (Theresa) of Helena, Mark (Sandee) of Concord, CA, and Todd (Rehanna) of Helena; daughter Debbie (Allen) Janes of Great Falls; grandchildren Nathan and Megan Janes of Great Falls and Whitney (Bobby) Riviere of Bozeman (Debbie); Spencer, Caitlin, and William Olson (Todd); and great-grandchildren Alina, Alex, Asher, and Andrew Janes (Nathan).
Bill spent his childhood days in Chinook, graduating from Chinook High School in 1942. He entered the US Army in 1943 and served overseas in France, Germany, and Austria in combat operations from mid-1944 to VE Day in 1945. He returned to the US and was honorably discharged in April, 1946. Following his discharge from the service, Bill enrolled at Utah State University in Logan, UT in the fall of 1946; he graduated with a Civil Engineering Degree in 1950. Returning to Chinook, Bill married Gloria on October 28, 1951 and worked as the Blaine County Surveyor until May 1953, when he and Gloria left Chinook and moved to Sidney, MT. There, Bill was employed as a Sales Engineer for Armco Steel Company. His tenure with Armco Steel resulted in transfers to Missoula in 1958 and to Helena in 1963. Bill left Armco Steel in 1975, after 22 years of service. He joined the staff of the Montana Contractors' Association in 1975 and retired from the Executive Director's position in 1990, after 15 years. In 1990, Bill was awarded the 'Blue and Gold Award' from Montana State University Bozeman for his longstanding dedication and service to the MSU School of Engineering and its Student Chapter of the Contractors' Association.
Full retirement for Bill took place in 1998, after working at the Helena Wal-Mart as a People Greeter for 6 years. Bill continued his post-retirement work by doing legislative volunteer work for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for 10 years and by volunteering an additional 6 years in the admissions department at St. Peter's Hospital in Helena.
A long history of participation in the sport of bowling on the state and national level was a major part of Bill's life. He served as Secretary of the Montana State Men's Bowling Association and additionally served as a National Director of The American Bowling Congress for a period of 9 years. Bill was inducted into the Montana Bowling Hall of Fame in 1984. Bill also enjoyed golfing (very much), and was a member of the Green Meadow Country Club in Helena for many years.
Bill will be remembered with the highest regard by all those who had the privilege to know him, and will be dearly missed by all those who love him.
Cremation has taken place and memorial service celebrating Bill's life will be held at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave, at 11:00 AM Thursday, April 3, 2014. A reception will follow at 12:30 PM at the First Baptist Church of Montana. Burial with military honors will be at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison in Helena. Memorials may be made in Bill's honor to the
. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Bill.
Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home & Crematory
3750 N Montana Ave Helena, MT 59602
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 2, 2014