Fay Florence Lillegard Olson
August 15, 1928 - July 9, 2014
Fay was called Home to be with the Lord Wednesday, July 9, 2014, after an 11 year battle with Alzheimer's disease. She is survived by the husband she adored for nearly 59 years, George H. Olson of Salem, OR.
Fay was born in Stevenson, WA to Granville and Florence Lillegard, with whom she is now joyfully reunited. She has also joined her brother Edward, and is survived by her brother Daniel and his wife Judy, of Stevenson, WA; her sister Lois Hunt of Summerland, BC, Canada; and several nephews and nieces.
Fay graduated Stevenson High School in 1946 and then Western Business College in Portland OR in 1950. After working for a credit agency for a year, Fay took a clerk position at Bonneville Power Administration in 1951. Fearing layoffs at BPA, Fay went to work at the Department of Agriculture in 1953. However, she had noticed a fellow clerk at BPA and just couldn't seem to get him off her mind. Fay was a patient woman: After waiting two years for him two notice her, she finally took matters into her own hands and arranged for a friend to set them up on a blind date. So it was that in August 1955, Fay went to Washington Park for her blind date with George Olson. George realized immediately that Fay was the one for him. They were engaged in October and married December 30, 1955. As George tells it, "I'm sure the speed raised some eyebrows, but I thought I better hurry and seal the deal before she came to her senses!"
Fay was a talented seamstress and made her own wedding dress, although George says it wasn't by choice. She had picked out the dress of her dreams, but her mom told her the $50 price tag was outside the budget.
After marrying at Stevenson Methodist Church, George and Fay went to Vancouver, BC, for a weekend honeymoon. This was the occasion of their first fight [George says it was the first of about three, ever] and also kicked off a lifetime of travel adventures, including their "real" honeymoon the following summer, in which they visited six western states in three weeks.
Fay and George enjoyed camping, riding bikes, taking long walks, entertaining and playing games with friends, and spoiling their dogs. Fay was an accomplished career woman at BPA—which she returned to shortly after marrying George—and made those around her shine; her boss even went on to become Secretary of the Interior. Fay was a talented and creative homemaker, excellent cook, quilter, and tole painter. She really enjoyed gardening, which to her meant watching George tend the yard. Fay loved bird watching, was a devoted Bible scholar with an extensive collection of Bibles, volunteered at church, and read anything else she could get her hands on. Fay played the piano and dabbled at playing the organ. She loved music and seemed to know every song of any genre, signing along and tapping her hands and feet. But as much as Fay loved her family, friends, and leisure pursuits, her one true love was George Henry Olson. Fay adored George, taking every opportunity to spoil him and use not only words but affectionate action to show how much he meant to her.
She was a smart, funny, loving, kind, warm woman with a serious nature; George brought out the lighter side in her. Fay will be sorely missed.
George wishes to extend special thanks to the staff at Farmington Square Salem, the team at Willamette Valley Hospice, and Dr Joshua Meador at Kaiser Skyline—all offered extraordinarily warm and compassionate care during the end of Fay's life.
In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to the
, 1650 NW Naito Parkway, Ste 190, Portland OR 97209.
Threadgill Memorial Services
9630 Sw Margorie Ln
Beaverton, OR 97008
Published in StatesmanJournal on July 13, 2014