Sally Olson, 79, of Idaho Falls, passed away at her home Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.
Sally Ann Malone was born April 10, 1934, in St. Paul, Minn., to Delbert John (DJ) and Millie Nelson Malone. She was raised in Prescott, Wis., a small border town on the Mississippi River. Her father was the school superintendent. In this small school, Sally was involved in many activities. She took piano lessons, spent many years in the school band and choir, and later taught piano and served as church organist.
Sally attended the nearby University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she majored in mathematics and music, graduating with a B.S. in education in 1956. She taught mathematics and music at Hudson, Wis., and mathematics in Minneapolis. She completed the course work for an M.S. in mathematics at the University of Minnesota.
Sally and her future husband, Willard Olson, were in the class of 1956 at River Falls, and in a small school, often in the same course and classroom.
After graduation, with Sally teaching and Willard doing graduate work in Nashville and Oak Ridge, Tenn., they met again in 1959 and were married Sept. 9, 1961, in the Prescott United Church of Christ. Sally and Willard began their married life in Mankato, Minn., where Willard taught physics at Mankato State.
Willard continued his graduate studies at Oregon State University in Corvallis, with one return of three years at Mankato. Their sons, John and Paul, were born in Corvallis. The partnership and support of marriage were tremendously important to obtaining Willard's degree. Willard taught one year in the nuclear engineering department at Oregon State and worked a second year for the department.
In 1975, they moved to Idaho Falls to accept employment at Idaho National Laboratory. Sally spent the last half of her life in Idaho Falls, involved with her children through the local schools, the University of Idaho and beyond. She talked with them regularly and shared their lives.
She made many friends through the First Presbyterian Church, the Boy Scout troop at St. Paul's Methodist Church, and Eastern Star, where she was the organist for Liberty Chapter 51 in Shelley, for the past 10 years.
Everywhere she has been, she has made friends and maintained friendships through a constant stream of letters. Sally and Willard have typically visited Wisconsin twice a year to visit friends and family.
Sally had many interests, including sewing, cooking, music, people, current events, travel and reading. Sally was a loving, compassionate person. She was always there in times of trouble and need.
Survivors include her husband, Willard; sons, John (Maribel) and Paul Olson; and grandson, Alejandro Calderon Olson.
Sally was preceded in death by her parents, brother-in-law, Eugene Connors; and sister-in-law, Gloria Olson.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at First Presbyterian Church, 325 Elm St. in Idaho Falls, with the Rev. Ron Lavoie officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to services.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.buckmillerhann.com.