Dale E. Olsen aka Grandpa’s Flying Machine passed away at the age of 82 in his beloved town of Ferndale on February 24, 2009. He was born at the family home on Brown Street in Ferndale on March 27, 1926, to CJ “Bud” and Irma Goble-Olsen. Dale was a direct descendant of the Goble Families, early settlers of the Eel River Valley.
Dad was preceded in death by his parents Bud and Irma Olsen, his daughter Daleen Schelldorf and brothers Ray, Melvin and Ivan.
Dale went to grammar school and high school in Ferndale and some of his fondest memories where of him playing basketball and baseball for the school team and racing his brother’s home at lunch and after school. Dale enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17, he served on the battle ship USS North Carolina as an anti-aircraft gunner and is credited with shooting down Kamikaze and zero airplanes. He was in 7 major battles in the South Pacific and was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon- 6 stars, American Campaign Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon - 2 stars and the Victory Medal of World War II.
After the war Dad worked at Friedbach Market and Shears Market before going to Fortuna Veneer then Pacific Lumber Company in Scotia. He finished up his work career as a self-employed carpenter. Dad was proud of being a Native Son and was a 18 year member of AA.
Dad lived to play Baseball. He played on the “Old Scotia League” and traveled to play other teams in Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties. Eventually the Humboldt Classics team was formed and he played his last game at the age of 81. He always played as the left-handed first baseman.
Dad was part of the Kinetic Sculpture race that started on Main Street in Ferndale 39 years ago. His first machine was a kite. Later it evolved into “Grandpa’s Flying Machine.” So he became known to hundreds of fans as “Grandpa”. He was also a hunter, making many trips to Modoc County and Rangely, Colorado, and he always had a great story about the big one that got away. He bagged his last buck in September 2008 at the age of 81 with a lot of help from Doug.
He had also belonged to the Fortuna Bowling League and had played golf for many years. Dad also loved to dance and many times had the “younger ladies” waiting for their turn to dance with him.
Dale leaves behind daughters Sharon Luttrell and her spouse Tom Robertson of Anderson. Marleen Nylander of Fortuna. Brother Bob Olsen of Fortuna, sister Dona Mendes of Ferndale. Sisters in law Donna Olsen of Fortuna and Ann Olsen of Palo Cedro; numerous nieces and nephews; 5 grandchildren, Melanie, Monica, Rachel, Stephanie and Russel. 8 great grandchildren, Jace, twins Nicole and Cory, Zoey and Sabel, Salvador, Isabelle and 1 month old Leah.
The family would like to acknowledge Doug Campbell for his exceptional care. Doug was not only his caregiver, but was his friend, companion and hunting partner.
There will be a visitation for Dale on Friday February 27, 2009, from 2:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. at Goble’s Fortuna Mortuary. Services will be held at the Ferndale Veterans Building on Main Street, Ferndale on Saturday February 28, 2009, at 1:00 P.M.
For those wishing to make a donation in Dale’s name the family asks that they be made to Hospice of Humboldt, 2010 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka, CA 95501 or to the Ferndale High School Football Program, 1231 Main Street, Ferndale, CA 95536.
Please sign the guestbook online at www.times-standard.com, click on obituaries.