Cover photo for Elaine Doris Olson's Obituary
Elaine Doris Olson Profile Photo
1917 Elaine 2017

Elaine Doris Olson

June 7, 1917 — April 13, 2017

Elaine Field Olson was born in Clearwater, Minnesota on June7, 1917, to the Reverend George and Tacy (Ott) Field .  She graduated from Waubun High School in 1935 and graduated with a teaching degree from Moorhead State Teachers College, Moorhead, Minnesota in 1937.  She taught all eight grades in a one room school in Bejou, Minnesota before marrying her high school sweetheart, Lloyd W. Olson in 1940.  In 1941, the Olsons moved to Rockford, Illinois where Lloyd went to work for Rockford Clutch, which later became a division of Borg-Warner.  Their three children were born and raised in Rockford.  During the years of raising a family, Elaine kept very busy with neighborhood and school activities.  She was a leader in Brownies and a Den Mother for Cub Scouts. At a time when few women worked outside the home, she decided to go back to teaching.   In the 1950’s, she returned to college, taking night classes and summer school at Rockford College until she graduated in 1964.  She taught second grade at Rock River Elementary School in Rockford for many years.  She was a remarkable, determined, energetic woman who was ahead of her time. After their retirement, Lloyd and Elaine spent a great deal of time at White Earth Lake, Minnesota   enjoying the lake home that her parents had built in 1932 and that she and Lloyd modernized in 1965.  Elaine was busy with needlework and ceramics while Lloyd enjoyed his passion for fishing.  Together they played bridge, entertained friends and family and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the lake. In 1987, when Lloyd passed away, Elaine found solace in neighborhood activities, creative hobbies and  time with family at White Earth Lake. She had a passion for the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan and rarely missed watching the team on television.   She traveled to Europe numerous times with family and friends and took several trips throughout the United States.  In 1997, while visiting her granddaughter, Kristin, in New York City, she was interviewed on the Today Show, as she worried about her North Dakota friends who were fighting floods.  She continued her ceramic hobby, making Nativity Scenes for each of her grandchildren.  She was known as “the cookie lady” and kept her grandchildren and their college friends in treats and “care packages”.  She was an exceptional grandmother who listened to her grandkids and always found time for a game of Candyland or Aggravation. In her later years, she lived in State College, PA near her daughter, and then in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.  She kept busy with reading, crossword puzzles and keeping in touch with her family.  She was cherished by her family, who will miss her smile, good sense and gentle ways and by the staff of The Cottages, her Detroit Lakes assisted living, who cared for her with such tenderness. Elaine is survived by her children, daughter Judy Lysaker (Peter), and sons Terry (Ingrid) and Gordy (Melvina) all of White Earth Lake, Minnesota; eight grandchildren, Kristin Schiller (Derek), Atlanta, GA, Kary Magruder (Bill), Bethesda, MD, Kassie Lysaker, Fort Myers, FL, Tim (Dana) Cottage Grove, MN, Craig (Anne) Menomonie, WI, Teresa Cooper (Michael), Elkhorn, WI,  Steve (Pamela) Ogema MN, and Chad (Suzy),  Waubun, MN. Also surviving are her 14 great grandchildren; Channing, Ryan, Nathan, Hannah, Haley, Calais, Kayce, Evan and Benjamin Olson, Lily Cooper, Luke and Carson Schiller, and Campbell and Audrey Magruder.Elaine is preceded in death by her parents (George and Tacy Field), her beloved husband of 47 years, Lloyd Olson, her sister, Gwendolyn Flynn and her great granddaughter, Kenna Marie Olson. Her life was long and worthwhile, and she will be missed by many who loved her. 
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