Cover photo for Gary Olson's Obituary
Gary Olson Profile Photo
1942 Gary 2021

Gary Olson

May 9, 1942 — May 9, 2021

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!”

Gary Elden Olson passed away suddenly on Sunday March 14. He was born and raised in St. Paul, MN and attended Alexander Ramsey High School.  He studied Electrical Engineering at the UofM where he also achieved his MBA. He was awarded a fellowship at Stanford University in California and completed it in one year. He liked to get things done! Gary married his wife Lynn 53 years ago, and together they raised their children Karin (Carl) and Graham (Julia.) The family enjoyed skiing, camping, and attending YMCA camps including Camp du Nord where Gary served on the board.

A gifted technologist, business manager and communicator, Gary worked for 36 years at Sperry Univac/Unisys in Roseville, leading key mainframe computer initiatives on behalf of global clients. Upon retirement he moved to Crosslake where he gave generously of his time, talent and treasure, partnering with Lynn to create fun memories for family and friends “at the lake.” His adoring canine companion Tillie joined him for daily walks and trips into town, and kept him in line should he ever get off schedule. He was Treasurer of WAPOA for 8 years, supporting the mission to protect and preserve the Whitefish chain of lakes.

He found real joy in the happiness and accomplishments of others, encouraging and empowering them to pursue their dreams. His kindness, curiosity, compassion, intellect, wit, appreciation of mischief, bright eyes and big, welcoming smile live on vibrantly in his grandchildren Charlotte (4,) Axel (4,) and Hazel (2.)  

Devoted to his family and community, Gary was a good friend, clever accomplice and trusted advisor to many. A rare combination of brilliant and humble, he was a lifelong learner and a keen observer of the majesty of the natural world, the power of science and technology, the complexity of the human condition, and the triumph of the human spirit.

He had no known enemies, nor equals.

Please send memorials to “YMCA Camp du Nord,” memo “In Memory of Gary Olson.” Mail to YMCA of the North, NW 5901, PO Box 1450, Minneapolis, MN 55485-5901.  Online donations at  Select “Camp du Nord” and fill in the “Tribute Gift” information.

Private interment Lakewood Cemetery.  Celebration of life will be held this summer.


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