Duane Udell Olson of Froid, 82, died Monday, March 2, at the Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson.
He 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. His sister, Dolores, was born three years later. When Dolores was baptized as a baby in Scobey, he 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, he spent his early school years in town. Once the “oil road” across the Flat was paved, he was able to drive back and forth to school. He 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 he 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.
He 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 she accepted his proposal and they married March 28, 1959. They had two girls, Julie (born in 1962) and Tammy (born in 1965).
Following his mother’s death, he moved his young family out to the farm west of Froid. He loved the land and his vocation. He was an extremely good steward of the land and knew the number, genealogy and offspring of every cow.
He 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.
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, he loved nothing more than spending time with his grandchildren and great-granddaughters. He loved people to stop by for a visit and always had time for a conversation, a cup of coffee, and a cookie.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carolyn; daughters, Julie of Silverton, Ore., and Tammy of Littleton, Colo.; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and a sister, Dolores of Butte.
Funeral services were conducted Saturday, March 7, at the Froid Lutheran Church in Froid.