Rex A. Olson
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Rex A. Olson "Coach" Rex A. Olson, 86 years old, died of old age July 7, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah to Angus Leroy and Elsie Ritchie Olson. When he was 14 years old, Rex's Dad died. He grew up in poverty while his Mom worked diligently outside the home to support the family. Sports became his salvation and he used to talk about how he nailed a peach basket to the kitchen wall so he could play basketball at home. He married Barbara Hansen on Feb. 14, 1947 in Richfield, Utah. The marriage was later solemnized in the LDS Temple on Feb. 16, 1961. Rex was a graduate of Granite High School in Salt Lake City, Utah where he was a star athlete in basketball, football, and baseball. He later earned his Bachelor's of Science and Master's Degree from Brigham Young University. He was active in sports in junior high, high school, and college. He served three years in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He played on the Air Corps basketball and football teams, and loved playing sports to entertain the troops. After the war he returned to Brigham Young University and he received the All-Around Athlete award in Provo, Utah. He was the quarterback on the first postwar club and ranked 10th in the nation among college passers. The following year Rex led the nation in pass completions and total yardage for half of the season, and finished the year in third place. He was named to the All Conference Team in 1946. He graduated from BYU in 1948 and compiled a number of athletics records. Rex worked as a coach at B.Y. High School in Provo, Utah for two years. The first year, 1948-49, the tiny school won the Basketball Championship for Class B Schools and finished third the following year. He then worked at Granite High School in Salt Lake City as a teacher and basketball, baseball, and football coach. He loved teaching his teams the fundamentals of sports, and did it with passion and patience. He retired from the educational system in 1978 after 30 years of teaching and coaching. He loved all sports, and began golfing at 40 years old. He rarely missed a day of golf until he was 84 years old, and shot his age when he was 81! He taught golf for BYU and community school for years. He was also a huge Utah Jazz fan. He was a High Priest in the LDS Church, serving in various capacities during his lifetime. He also was the ward clerk for 15 years. Rex is survived by his children Karen Johnson (Brian), Kathy Hoggan (Lynn), and Ken (Jill). He leaves six grandchildren whom he really enjoyed: Eric Johnson, Ryan (Erin) and Jason Hoggan, and Tyler (Ashlee), Trent, and McKinzie Olson. Rex is also survived by one sister, Jo Schultz, three brothers Floyd, Gordon, and Richard. Richard preceded him in death. Funeral Services will be held July 11, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at Jenkins Soffe Mortuary 4760 South State Street in Murray. Friends may call one hour prior to services (10:00-11:00 a.m.). Friends may visit the evening of July 10th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at the mortuary. Interment, Murray City Cemetery.

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Published in Deseret News from Jul. 9 to Jul. 10, 2008.
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Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
July 14, 2008
Dear Karen, Kathy and Ken,
it has been a wonderful experience getting to know all of you and your families. Thank you for all the love and acceptance you have given to my mom (Jo). I wished I would have known your father but I can tell he was a wonderful person just by meeting all of you. Can't wait for another family dinner!
Bobbi Schultz
July 14, 2008
Barbara, Karen and families,

I have fond memories of your great family. Please accept my condolences on your loss. I enjoyed having an opportunity to read the obituary and the many kind things people have written in this guestbook.

Since Eva's death, I don't think I've seen any of you, but my Mom Donna, and my sister Sue Ann and Mary keep me updated from time to time. Mom told me last night that Ronald stopped and visited after the funeral on his way back to California.

We do make it to Utah to visit my Mom and family including my daughter Chelle Leyva, who is band director at West Jordan High School.
Our youngest daughter, Jennifer graduated from University of Utah and is currently living with us for a few months before returning to her home in Germany.

May the Comforter be with you as you celebrate Rex's life and contributions.

Jim Hansen
Jim Hansen
July 14, 2008
Dear Karen and family,

I was s sorry to learn that your dad had passed away. I remember the wonderful neighbor he was when I was a young girl. He made a huge impact on people throughout his life. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Maggie Gallegos Higginson
Margaret Higginson
July 13, 2008
I graduated from Granite in l953. Rex was asst football coach, the best one I played for. He was fairand disciplined and supported my efforts.I am sorry to hear he is gone.
bob norton
July 13, 2008
Kathy, Karen and Ken,
The Allens fondly remember many things about the Olsons. But especially we all remember Rex hitting golf balls from your back yard to ours. I loved always being with your family and I always felt so welcome. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of loss.
Rolayne Sellers
July 11, 2008
Ken, Jill and Family
The tribute of a persons life can be seen in the family they leave behind. We are sorry for your families loss and are thinking about you during this difficult time. We're grateful for your friendship and sorry we were unable to attend your fathers services.
Kory Holdaway
July 11, 2008
We're so sorry to read of the passing of such a fine individual as Rex Olson. We're also sorry that we weren't able to make the funeral or viewing since we just barely found out about it, we miss both and missed seeing your wonderful family.

It is so rough to lose a parent. Our very sincere condolences and prayers,
Charlotte (Werner) & Kurt Ovard
Charlotte Ovard
July 11, 2008
While I only met Mr. Olson one time, I am grateful to know his daughter, Kathy, and her family. I think it is a great tribute to him that through the many times Jason and Kathy spoke of him, it was always kind and respectful and loving. What an honorable gift to leave behind such wonderful children and grandchildren! Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives, Hoggans!
Sherri Burmester
July 10, 2008
Dear Family,

I want to express my sincere sympathies with you regarding Rex's passing. It has surely been a pleasure getting to know you all. I am so grateful for the love you have shown my mother, Jo.

Looking forward to dinner with you very soon.

With love,
Terrie Schultz
July 10, 2008
How lucky the Bradshaw's were to have the Olsens as our great neighbors. I will always remember going to Granite High Basketball games to watch Rex coach...watching him hit golf balls over the roof of the house...neighborhood camping trips...Marcelyn going over to collect her money after a world series bet! We were greatly influenced by your family and love all of the Olsens very much.
Linda Madsen
July 10, 2008
Gentle, kind-hearted and calm, but what a fierce competitor on the athletic field. Rex and I were teamates both pre and post-war on a State Championship softball team where he excelled as our shortstop.
He was held in high regard by all who played with, against and for him!! What a great man!!
Ed Scott
July 9, 2008
I was also one of the many who played for Coach Olson and have many found memories of his coaching efforts. He taught me the "correct" way to pass a football and his competitive spirit was always evident. We send our sincere condolences to his wife and family.
Eldon & Janice Fortie
July 9, 2008
I played on the 1949 BY High championship basketball team with Rex as coach. He was an outstanding coach and an athlete of the same caliber himself. I pass along my condolences to his wife and entire family.

Kent Broadhead
Kent Broadhead
July 9, 2008
I graduated from Granite High in 1952. Yes, Rex Olson was my coach. Our basketball team did not help "coach" Olson's win-loss record, but what I learned from coach Olson has been a win for me throughout my life
Douglas McGregor
July 9, 2008
I am deeply sorry to know of rex passing away, he was a wonderful gentle person and yes he loved sports he enjoyed talking about anything an everything to do with sports. I know his family will truly miss him. It was a pleasure to keep his room clean at canyon creek.
angie erickson
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