Robert LeRoy Olson, son of Olaf and Elizabeth (Maloney) Olson, was born on September 26, 1932, in Ben Wade Township, Pope County, MN. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in rural Lowry, where he and his family were members. He grew up on a farm near Lowry where he attended country school, followed by high school in nearby Glenwood.
Robert was united in marriage to Lola Swenson on January 14, 1954 at the First Lutheran Church parsonage in Kensington, MN. The two made their home in Farwell for the entire 63 years of their marriage and they were blessed with three daughters, Darby, Brenda, and Tammie. Lola passed away on May 20, 2017.
Robert drove truck for Farwell Creamery for many years and later worked in sales at Hustad Implement for over 30 years. Following his retirement, he enjoyed driving truck for his son-in-law, Tim, and visiting with the various farmers he met along the way.
Robert, a longtime resident of Farwell, was very active in city government, having served as the city’s mayor for over 30 years. He was an active member of Norunga Lutheran Church and later First Lutheran Church of Kensington. Over the years, Robert enjoyed collecting both real and toy International Harvester (IH) tractors (the red ones) and farm machinery. He also enjoyed visiting with friends and neighbors and sharing a cup of coffee and a donut here and there. When he was young he enjoyed restoring cars and he was a talented woodworker.
Robert was an honest, kind and generous man. He especially loved time spent with his family. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren brightened his days. They, and others who knew Robert, will remember him for his fondness of red IH tractors, his willingness to help anyone in need and his gift of gab,
In December 2019, Robert became a resident at Hoffman Senior Living. He passed away there under the care of Glacial Ridge Hospice on Saturday, May 2, 2020, having lived to the age of 87 years. His family is very appreciative of the wonderful care Robert received from both the staff at Hoffman Senior Living and hospice. He will be greatly missed.
Survivors include daughters, Darby (Harlan) Folkens of Alexandria, MN, Brenda (Tim) Bennett of Kensington, MN, Tammie (Bruce) Leverson of Alexandria, MN; 6 grandchildren, Jennifer Paffel, Aaron Folkens, Erika (Ryan) Forga, Tyler (Robyn) Bennett, Kelsey (Andrew) Giese, and Brandon Leverson; 5 great-grandchildren, Taylor and Natalie Forga and Willa and Elowyn Giese and Miles Bennett; a special cousin, Stephanie Maloney; as well as other relatives and friends.
Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Lola; his parents, Olaf and Elizabeth; one brother, Tony Olson; and a nephew, Ryan Olson.
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