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Orris E. Olson

March 31, 1932 ~ April 2, 2018 (age 86)

Orris Eldon Olson was born March 31, 1932, to Oliver G. and Evelyn M. (Witsoe) on a farm in Osakis Township.  He was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church where he was a life-long member.  Orris passed away peacefully at the age of 86 on April 2, 2018.

As a child his family lived in Alexandria where he attended Central School.  In the spring of 1941, they moved southeast of Alexandria where he attended Hazil Hill District 50 country school through the eighth grade.

Orris was hospitalized from May 16 to July 13, 1954, after a hot rod accident.  His injuries were so severe that his family feared he would not walk again.  He helped his Dad on the farm and drove canned and bulk milk truck from 1955-1967.  He rented the family farm from 1967-1983 when Oliver passed away and then farmed fulltime. 

One of Orris’ favorite pastimes was going for coffee with many friends at Country Kitchen where he met Janice Thoennes.  They were married February 21, 1987, at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria and to this union he became an instant father known as “Pops” to the Thoennes tribe of 11.  Orris was a loving husband and father and cherished his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Orris and Janice wintered in Arizona from 1994-2018.  In 2006 they enjoyed a trip with his cousins to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland and England with a short visit to Iceland.  One of Orris’ fondest memories was coming into Trondheim, Norway on Syttende Mai waving his Norwegian flag with great pride. 

Orris enjoyed trips to California, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Fort Knox, Kentucky.  He helped harvest small grain for his Aunt Helen and Uncle Chris Foss in Hanks, North Dakota for several years.  He did custom corn picking with a single-row corn picker, hay baling, combining and silo filling for his neighbors. 

He enjoyed pheasant hunting near Wendell, Minnesota, at his Aunt Selma and Uncle Alvin Peipho’s farm.  The hunting party bragged about getting 44 roosters on Saturday and again on Sunday back in 1957.  Orris liked spear fishing on numerous lakes in Beltrami County.  He began deer hunting in Black Duck in 1955 with Cousin Oren Anderson staying with Darwin and Dorothy Anderson who became like family.  Most of all, he treasured woodworking, looking for deer, playing cards and his many trips to Black Duck deer hunting with his brothers and nephews and eventually his grandchildren. 

Orris was preceded in death by parents Oliver and Evelyn, son Allen, sister Clariene Stutelberg, and brother Ruebin (Karen).  Survived by wife Janice, Thoennes tribe:  Ron (Rhonda), Jeanne (Darcy) Kramer, Teresa (Phil) Cavanagh, James Jr. (Gail), Owen (Dawn), Kevin, Ken, Lucille (Paul) Osier, Susan and Tague (Deb), numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, brother Dennis (Judy), and brother-in-law Jim Stutelberg.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, April 6, 2018 at 11 AM at First Lutheran Church.

Visitation will take place on Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 4-7 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home and also for one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.

Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

In Lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church Building Fund. 

Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria and Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels of Minneapolis.

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