Leland (Lanny) J. Olson, 51, of Silver City, N.M., passed away on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, after a courageous fight against cancer. He was born in San Rafael, Calif., on Feb. 24, 1961, to Chuck and Kathy Olson. He married Jill Fuller in March of 1985; he graduated from Western New Mexico University with a bachelor's degree in 1987. Lanny began his career with Crawford and Olson Insurance Company in 1980 and went on to take over operations in Southwestern New Mexico; he later joined Wells Fargo Insurance as vice-president and senior account executive for New Mexico. In 2003, he and his wife purchased the Holiday Inn Express Hotel to share his love of Silver City. As his family grew to include two young daughters, they spent weekends working and playing at the family apple orchard in the Mimbres River Valley. He loved hunting with friends, cutting firewood, working on the Guadalupe Montessori School playground, visiting with shoppers while selling his produce at the farmer's market, and driving his l931 Chevy fire truck in the annual July 4th parade and the Lighted Christmas parade. Lanny was fulfilled through involvement in many Silver City organizations, including DeMolay as state master councilor, Lion's Club, Crime Stoppers, Prospectors, Gila Regional Medical Center Foundation, Rotary Club
, Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Tourism Committee, SIGRED, Leadership New Mexico, Silver City and Grant County Incentive Review committees, Mimbres Region Arts Council, Tour of the Gila bike race, and Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. He served as president for many of these organizations, where his optimistic outlook was contagious. Lanny had a great love of life, his girls, and his home, Silver City. He is survived by his wife Jill, daughters Jennifer of Boulder, Colo.; Ashley of Vance Air Force Base, Okla.; parents Chuck and Kathy Olson of Las Cruces, N.M.; maternal grandmother Margaret Wilson of Hemet, Calif.; brother Matt Olson and his wife Patty of Las Cruces; brother Michael Olson and his wife Baola of Las Cruces; niece and nephew, Molly and Ryan Olson of Las Cruces; and niece and nephew, Jacqueline and Tommy Maloney of Hampton Bays, N.Y. A memorial service will be held at Terrazas Funeral Chapels on Friday, Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m. Father Paul Moore will officiate. Honorary pallbearers are Eric Patterson, Brian Scholl, Larry Williams, David Gershenson, John Jacobs, Matt Olson, Michael Olson, Ryan Olson and Tommy Maloney. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gila Regional Medical Center Foundation (grmc.org/The-Foundation.aspx
); the Lanny Olson Scholarship Fund for Leadership at WNMU and sent Attn: Dr. Joe Shepard, P.O. Box 690, Silver City, NM 88062; or the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd Foundation of Silver City (P. O. Box 2795, Silver City, NM 88062). Arrangements are with Terrazas Funeral Chapels "Trusted care for the ones you love." (575) 537-0777. To send condolences, visit www.terrazasfuneralchapel.com.