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1924 Roy 2013

Roy L. Olsen

February 19, 1924 — January 31, 2013

Roy L. Olsen, 88, of Grand Island, formerly of St. Paul, died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, at the St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. The Revs. Ray Kosmicki, Mike McDermott and James Murphy will officiate. Burial will be in the Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul, with graveside military honors by Carl Mogensen American Legion Post 119 of St. Paul. Visitation will be Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is in charge of the arrangements. Mr. Olsen was born on Feb. 19, 1924, on the family farm east of Farwell, the son of James P. and Hertha K. (Rasmussen) Olsen. He was united in marriage to Dorothy L. Leachman on July 18, 1948, in Sterling, Colorado. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy of Grand Island; three daughters and sons-in-law, Sharon and Terry Samuelson of Grand Island, Bonnie and Steve Meyer of Beemer, and Julie and Doug Bullis of Lakewood, CO; two sons and daughters-in-law, Jim and Joyce Olsen of Farwell and John and Cindy Olsen of Lawrence, KS; 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Roy attended Farwell Public School and graduated from Farwell High School in 1942. His first employment was with Commonwealth Electric in the construction of the Cornhusker Army Ammunitions Plant in Grand Island. He then worked for the Howard County Rural Public Power District until he was drafted into the United States Navy on Dec. 18, 1943. He was assigned to the USS Lubbock which transported 1500 Marines to Green Beach at Iwo Jima on his 21st birthday. It was an experience he never forgot. He also participated in the invasion of Okinawa. He was honorably discharged on April 29, 1946. He then worked as a lineman for Highline Electric in Sterling, Colorado. In 1949, he and Dorothy moved back to St. Paul where he began working as the Operation Manager for Howard/Greeley REA with his father. He became the General Manager in 1967, a position which he held until 1987. He retired on March 1, 1989, after training a new Manager. Roy was very active in the St. Paul community for many years. He was a member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, where he was chairman of the new church building committee. He was an Honorary Life Member of the Knights of Columbus Council 1918 in St. Paul of which he served as the Financial Secretary for 35 years, and a member and Past Commander of Carl Mogensen American Legion Post 119 of St. Paul. Roy was also active in the American Legion baseball program and in helping to build the Grover Cleveland Alexander Baseball Field. He was also a longtime member and Past President of the St. Paul Country Club. For his involvement in the community he received many nice awards, including, Above and Beyond The Call of Duty from the Phonograph-Herald Newspaper, Boss of the Year from the St. Paul Jaycees, Distinguished Citizen Award from the Chamber of Commerce, and Top Proposer Award and Family of the Year Award from the Knights of Columbus. Roy loved polka music and taught himself to play the organ, piano, mandolin, guitar, banjo, violin, mouth harp and keyboard. Roy was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Edna Petersen; and three brothers, Clarence, Harold and Dale Olsen. Memorials are suggested to the American Legion Baseball Scoreboard Fund, St. Paul Community Center Fund or to the family's choice.
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