Robert Ohlson passed away peacefully in his home at The Vistas Assisted Living, on May 7, 2013.
Robert was born in Everett, WA, the oldest son of Swedish immigrants. When he was 9 years old, the family moved to Burlingame, CA, where his father taught physics at the high school until his death in 1948. After graduation from Burlingame High School, he attended San Mateo Junior College and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned BA and MA degrees in American History in 1940, as well as a teaching credential. With war breaking out, and the draft, a teaching job was not to be found, so Robert found employment as a "humble bond clerk" at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He met his future bride, Jean Fisher, commuting on the train from Burlingame.
Five weeks after Pearl Harbor, Robert enlisted in the Finance Department at the US Army
Air Corps station at Moffett Field. He rose in rank as an enlisted man and went to OCS in Finance and was commissioned in the summer of 1945. He was retained at the finance school as an instructor. When discharged from active duty in 1946, Robert enlisted in the US Army Reserves. He moved up in the ranks, ultimately to the grade of Lt. Colonel, commanding a unit designed to serve the financial needs of an army theater. All told, Robert had served 4 ½ years of Active Duty and 24 years of Reserve Duty.
Robert had planned to teach after completing Active Duty in 1946, but was persuaded by his father in law, H.R. Fisher, to be a partner in his insurance business in Burlingame, where he remained until he sold the business in 1963 and began his teaching career at Carlmont High School in Belmont, CA, in 1964. He taught history there (heading the department his last 3 years) until he retired in 1983.
The Ohlsons raised their three daughters in Burlingame and enjoyed summers in the redwoods near Boulder Creek. After retirement they moved to Chico for 15 years of country living before moving to Redding in 1999. In Chico, Robert was quite active in the community as a member of the retired teachers group and a neighborhood council. He volunteered at the library and enjoyed regular weekly bridge games at the recreation center.
Robert was predeceased by his parents, his brother, David Lloyd Ohlson, and his beloved wife of 68 years, Jean Ohlson. He is survived by his three daughters and their husbands: Barbara and Mark Condon of Igo, Kathy and Chris Hartzell of Larkspur, and Tori and Dick Parks of Redding, as well as grandchildren Jennifer Solberg of Redding, Owen Solberg of Oakland, Matt Hartzell of Kunming, China, and Georgina Hartzell of St. Louis, MO. His extended family includes Patrick Condon of Reno, NV, Mark Condon Jr. of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and their families.
Robert's family and friends remember him for his intelligence, wit, and absolute integrity. He was a good man, and a kind man.
We are grateful to Mercy Hospice and especially to the staff at The Vistas for their tender, compassionate care.
A celebration of life is planned at The Vistas on Monday, May 13, at 1:30 pm.