|9/26/2019 12:58:00 PM|
Neil Olson, 92, of Centralia, Wash., formerly of Windom, died Sept. 9, 2019, at his home.
Neil Andrew Olson was born March 18, 1927, to Ray and Grace Olson in rural Windom. The family moved to Washington when his father found work in the shipyards during World War II.
After graduating from Buckley High School, Neil enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the battleship Pennsylvania, surviving a torpedo attack that killed 20 shipmates.
He also participated in Operation Crossroads and witnessed the first Bikini Atoll atom bomb test.
After returning to Windom following his discharge, Neil settled into farm life.
In 1951, Neil married Laura Lee Gustafson. They were blessed with five children.
In 1968, the family moved to Douglas, Ariz., where Neil managed fruit orchards. Six years later, they moved to Leland, Wash., where he was the water line superintendent for Crown Zellerbach and the Port Townsend paper company.
Upon retirement, Neil and Laura returned to Windom and enjoyed raising horses, collecting Americana and traveling the western U.S.
In 2002, they returned to Washington, settling in Centralia.
He was preceded in death by his son, Timothy Jay.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Laura Olson; daughters: Trudy in Arizona, Mali (Robert) in Washington, Betsy (Randy) in Oklahoma and Amy in Maryland; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren; and great-great-grandchildren.