Walter M. Olson, 87, died at his home east of Chinook on Friday, July 7, 2006.
His funeral service will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Saint Gabriel’s Catholic Church. Burial with military honors will follow in the Big Sandy Cemetery at 3 p.m. Walt was born Sept. 11, 1918, in Great Falls to Eilif and Kristine Olson. He grew up on the family homestead in the Bear Paw Mountains near Warrick. Walt left the family ranch and was inducted into the Army on April 28, 1941, at Fort Lewis, Wash. He took desert training with an artillery outfit and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. In November 1943, he was transferred to CN Co. 329th Infantry, 83rd Division at Camp Breckenridge, Ky., and on April 1 was sent to England and World War II. He was with the 83rd all the way to the Elbe River, where he was wounded on Friday, April 13, 1945. He fought in five battles in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe. He received five Battle stars, a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, a Combat Infantry badge and a German Occupation medal.
After the war, he reunited with Virginia Feil in Seattle, where they were married on April 28, 1947. Shortly after, they moved to Havre. The following March they moved back to Walt’s family homestead near Warrick to help his family run the ranch. In 1952, they built their home and moved out of his parents’ tworoom bunkhouse. They continued to run the family ranch at Warrick until in 1976. Walt and Virginia moved to the ranch just east of Chinook. Walt and Virginia moved to their current home just three miles east of Chinook after retiring. Walt continued to help his family run the family ranches at Warrick and in Chinook, which his two grandsons are currently taking over to continue the family business. He thoroughly enjoyed spending time with friends and family, playing pinochle and helping with many ranch duties. He was also an avid trapper.
He was preceded in death by his sons, Duane and Ron; brothers, John and Elmo; and parents, Eilif and Kristine Olson. Survivors include his loving wife of 59 years, Virginia (Feil) Olson; sisters, Edna (Olson) Danielson of Red Bluff, Calif., and Geneva (Olson) Warden of Simi Valley, Calif.; son, Merle Olson of Chinook; daughter, Mary Lou (Olson) Butcher of Chinook; six grandchildren; and two greatgrandchildren. Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook