First Memorial Funeral Chapel
7110 France Ave S
Edina, MN 55435
(952) 924-4900
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John OLSON Obituary
Age 56, of Excelsior, MN John Olson, Founder and Chairman of the Minneapolis-based "Olson" ad agency entered into eternal rest surrounded by family on September 7th, 2013. Olson was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Minneapolis. In less than 20 years he and his wife, Cindy, founded and grew their company to become the largest ad agency in the Twin Cities and among the five largest independent ad agencies in North America, with more than 450 employees globally. Together their teams helped create, and strengthen, some of the most iconic brands in Minnesota and across the country. Clients including, The Minnesota Wild, Bauer Hockey, Cub Foods, The Detroit Pistons, Target, Phillips Distilling and Old Dutch. John Olson - or Johnny as some of his friends call him, spent much of the last year in recording sessions in the Twin Cities and at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN releasing an album he called "Olsonville." You can hear some of the tunes and find its spirit at www.olsonville.org. John Olson was also founder of the BrandLab, a foundation based in Minneapolis that helps open opportunities in the advertising and marketing industry to minorities. Olson is survived by his wife, Cindy (Cobb) Olson and their children, Miko (14), Ava (10) and Zellie (7), his mother, Therese (Casserly) Olson. And his siblings Tom Olson (Wendy), Steve Olson (Joan), Peter Olson, Ted Olson (Karen), Nancy Miller Johnson (Steven), Elizabeth Brown (Aryae) and 24 nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Thomas Oscar Olson and his brother-in-law Steven Miller. Visitation 4-8pm Monday, September 9th at First Memorial Funeral Chapel at 7110 France Ave. South Edina, MN 55435. 952-924-4900. Mass of Christian Burial noon, Tuesday, September 10th at the Basilica of St. Mary, Hennepin Avenue & 16th Street in downtown Minneapolis. There will be an additional visitation at the Basilica from 10:30am to noon - preceding the Mass. Reception following the Mass at the Basilica, lower level. Note: In keeping with John's spirit, we invite you to feel free to wear colorful clothing to the Mass. (This was his daughter Ava's request). In lieu of flowers, family requests memorials to: Holy Family Catholic Church Choir 5900 West Lake Street St. Louis Park, MN 55416 www.hfcmn.org.

Published in Pioneer Press from Sept. 8 to Sept. 9, 2013
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