Evelyn 'Evie' Olson
1927 - 2021
Evelyn "Evie" Olson was born on December 18, 1927 to Williard and Marie Holloway Robinson in the family home on Mettler Road outside of Lodi. She grew up with a strong moral compass, good common sense, and a lust for life.
She met Pfc Edward Olson, an Army Air Corps cadet, at the beginning of her senior year in high school. They eloped on September 9, 1944, and their marriage lasted nearly 77 years, until Ed's death in May 2021. Evelyn followed him 5 1/2 months later, on October 2, 2021, his 99th birthday. They raised four children, Toni Scully (Phil), Terry Azevedo (Bill), Rex Olson (Susie) and Jeff Olson. Ten grandchildren and 23 great- and great-great grands followed.
In the 1950's her father Williard Robinson sold Robinson's Feed Store, founded by her grandfather in 1906, to Ed and Evie. In time, their son Rex joined Ed in the feed store. In 1974 they bought The Music Box, where she worked with their son Jeff for forty years.
She inherited a keen interest in local politics from her father, who was elected to the Lodi City Council in 1952, and in 1982, as a businesswoman in her own right, Evelyn became the second woman in Lodi history to be elected to the City Council. She served from 1982-1990 with two terms as mayor. During that time she logged thousands of miles promoting Lodi in general, and its nascent wine industry in particular.
She received a plethora of citations and recognition for her relentless community service. Over the years she served as President of Soroptomists International of Lodi, The Boys and Girls Club, the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, and the Lodi Arts Commission. She served on many other Boards, including the Lodi Community Hospital board, the San Joaquin Zoological Society, LAFCO (a regional government board), and the Private Industry Council, to name just a few. Twice she was named Woman of the Year by her state assemblymen, and was recognized as Citizen of the Year in 1994.
Perhaps her greatest civic accomplishment came through her work on the Old Lodi High School Foundation Board, which eventually resulted in the renovation of the old Lodi High School grounds and auditorium into a state of the Art Performing Arts and Conference Center. The foundation formed a public/private partnership with the City of Lodi in 1980, and the project took shape during Evie's terms on the council. Hutchins Street Square, as it became known, is a jewel in Lodi's crown, and its continuing development brought her joy and satisfaction.
She was many things to many people, but none of these accomplishments diminished the love and attention she gave freely to her family and friends. Sustained by her trust in God's will, she always supported them with love, wise counsel, and a positive attitude.
Published by Lodi-News Sentinel from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, 2021.
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6 Entries
Byron Barth
November 22, 2021
Growing up in Lodi, I was always involved in music . . . and that never changed in adulthood. "Granny" was always a delight -- supportive, helpful, interested. I will never forget the day I strolled into The Music Box after not having been there for some time because I had been so busy with professional pursuits and raising my kids. On that day, I was there to inquire about purchasing a flute. She said, "Are you gonna play the flute now?" with great enthusiasm and curiosity. She again encouraged me to pursue a long-held dream, and I did. Rest well, "Granny." Your kindness will never be forgotten.
Janie Hickok Siess
November 22, 2021
Dear friends, I will always remember the fun times we had with our families. Your mother and father were such great friends of my mother and father (Elmer and Thelma). Blessings to you and yours, Patsy Weimer Rott
Patsy Weimer Rott
November 11, 2021
You will be so very missed here on Earth... But Greatly Welcomed to Heaven.
November 6, 2021
Rest Well Dear Evelyn. In life, you brought a sweet fragrance and joy to those who knew you. Comfort and Peace to your Family And Friends. Karen&Steve Isaak Petaluma, CA
Steve Isaak
November 6, 2021
My family and I are sending are condolences to the family as Evie lived next door to my family snd I on Greenwood Drive. She was a special kind hearted lady with elegance and soft words when she spoke. I am so very sorry for your loss. In our thoughts snd prayers for your loss of your Mother snd Father this year. God bless. Amen. Nanette Purdy Diocson and family.
Nanette Purdy Diocson
November 6, 2021
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