Funeral services for Duane Olson were conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Froid Lutheran Church in Froid, Mont.
Duane Udell Olson of Froid, Mont., passed away peacefully on the morning of Monday, March 2, at the Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson, Mont. Duane was born June 13, 1937, to Sigurd and Ethel (Casper) Olson at the hospital in Poplar and was an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Indian Tribe. Ethel insisted Sigurd stay for the delivery and, despite his best efforts, Sigurd passed out, leaving the midwife to deal with three patients rather than two. Duane’s sister, Dolores, was born three years later. When Dolores was baptized as a baby in Scobey, Mont., Duane was also baptized and said very clearly at the baptism, “I don’t want my head to get wet!”
Because the Olson farm was 15 miles from Froid, Duane spent his early school years in town. Once the “oil road” across the Flat was paved, Duane was able to drive back and forth to school. Duane graduated from Froid High School in the spring of 1955 and, in the fall, started a two-year agriculture/ranching major at Northern Montana College in Havre.
In 1957, the summer Duane graduated from Northern, he happened to be with friends in Froid when he spied “the prettiest girl with the nicest legs” he had ever seen. He was so smitten with this girl, he followed her back to her house in Homestead but left disappointed because, although Carolyn was watching out the window, she didn’t go out to see him that night. We are not sure what grandpa Myron Waller thought of that, but we are sure that Carolyn must have been impressed, because Duane and Carolyn were a happy couple from that moment forward. Duane was a third-generation farmer/rancher. Before he asked Carolyn to marry him, he drove her to a high point in the pasture, parked and said, “One day, all this will be mine.” That must have sounded like a pretty good deal because Carolyn accepted his proposal and they married March 28, 1959. Duane and Carolyn had two girls, Julie (born in 1962) and Tammy (born in 1965).
Following his mother’s death, Duane moved his young family out to the farm west of Froid. Duane loved the land, and he loved his vocation. He was an extremely good steward of the land, and he knew the number, genealogy and offspring of every cow.
Duane had many interests. In his younger years, he loved to fish and bowl. Later in life, his interests turned to crossword puzzles, reading, attending or listening to Froid basketball games, listening to the Minnesota Twins on the radio and watching Westerns and the NDSU Bison on the television.
More than anything, Duane loved his family and friends. Family trips in the summer always meant making a loop around Montana to visit relatives along the way. As Julie and Tammy married and had children who had children, Duane loved nothing more than spending time with his grandkids and great-granddaughters. He was so proud of them and their accomplishments. Duane loved people to stop by for a visit and always had time for a conversation, a cup of coffee, and a cookie. We were blessed to have an extra year with Duane after his health started failing last March and, although the ache is still raw, we will always value that time.
Surviving Duane is his wife of 61 years, Carolyn. Daughter Julie of Silverton, Ore., had three boys. Bryan and Rachel live in Williston, N.D. Devyn and Ashliegh live in Hillsboro, Ore., with their daughters, Camille and Emery. Ross attends college in Eugene, Ore. Daughter Tammy and Pat live in Littleton, Colo. Their daughter, Erin, is also in Littleton, Colo. Kaitlin is in nursing school in Kalispell, Mont., and Connor attends University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D. Duane’s sister, Dolores, and her husband, Lloyd, live in Butte, Mont. When Duane married Carolyn, he became a big brother to her six younger siblings, Larry, Ron, Anne, Janice, Sidney and Twila. Between his sister and Carolyn’s siblings, Duane is survived by many sisters- and brothersin- law, nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Sig and Ethel.
Duane’s work on Earth is done and we are all better for knowing and having been loved by him. Rest assured, Duane, we will close the gate.
Fulkerson Funeral Home of Plentywood has charge of arrangements. Read the complete obituary, post remembrances, send cards and flowers online at www.fulkersonsplentywood. com.