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Walter Olson

Walter G Olson
Feb 2, 1924 - Oct 10,2012
Resident of Portola Valley
Walter Olson lived a wonderful life. He was born in Bega, Nebraska to Mable Asplin and Ole Olson. His mother passed away from pneumonia when he was two. His father, a Swedish immigrant, passed away from a stroke when he was twelve. He worked part time on a farm and at a department store. He attended Bega Elementary School and then Stanton High School. He began studying at the University of Nebraska on a scholarship in 1941.
He was called to active duty in the army in 1943 and began specialized training. He was transferred to the 11th armored division and sent to Luxembourg where he fought and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. He received the Purple Heart and celebrated his 21st birthday in a hospital in Southern England. After discharge, he enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley to finish study for a Bachelor's degree in business. He attended Boalt Law School, graduating in 1949 first in his class and Editor in Chief of the California Law Review. During this time, he met Gloria Helen Bennett whom he married in 1949. They lived first in Burlingame, moved to Woodside in 1955, Hillsborough in 1972, and finally to Portola Valley. They spent 58 wonderful years together until her death in 2007.
Upon graduation, he went to work for Orrick, Dahlquist, Herrington Sutcliffe, first as a tax lawyer and soon in corporate law. He became a partner in 1954, was managing partner in the 1980's, and retired in 1988. He had an exciting, enjoyable, and rewarding career. He was appointed by Governor Reagan to the California Commission to revise the California Corporate Securities Law and also participated in the major revision of the California General Corporation Law in 1975-76 as a member of the State Bar Committee on Corporations. He served on the Board of Directors of several corporations, including Alltel, CP National, Toronto Dominion Bank of California, Eitel-McCullough, and Five Commonwealth Mutual Funds. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Boalt Hall Alumni Association and as its president in 1988.
After retirement, he and Gloria enjoyed playing golf and travelled extensively, sometimes combining the two. He is survived by his son Cliff (Linda) of Los Altos Hills and daughter Karen of Bodega Bay. He also leaves behind 6 grandchildren and one great grandson. He lived a wonderful life.
Donations may be made to Boys Town or the educational institution of your choice


Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Oct. 12, 2012
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