Mary Lois (Roen) OlsonJune 13, 1925 ~ March 21, 2017 (age 91)
Mary Lois (Roen) Olson, 91, of Livingston, Montana passed away, Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 at the Diamond K Lodge. She was blessed with the love that surrounded her by her daughter Kathy, friends, Barb, Trudy, Lorrie and Oreo, her devoted pup.
A Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 25th, 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. at Franzen-Davis Funeral Home, 118 North 3rd Street, Livingston. A Funeral Service will be held on the following Saturday, April 1st, 1:00 P.M. at Franzen-Davis. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. Reception will follow the interment at American Lutheran Church’s Fellowship Hall.
I was born on June 13th, 1925 and grew up in North Dakota on a dry land farm north of Alexander about 25 miles from Williston.
My father, Henry Roen, was a baby when his family emigrated from Norway to North Dakota and settled in the Minot area. My father later homesteaded north of Alexander.
My mother, Beryl Idella Thurlow and dad were living fairly close to each other. They later met and were married.
My brother, Clayton, and I attended Elk School for our first eight grades. In winter, we would ride in a sled behind horses. My dad drove us with other kids in that area, and it was a long, cold ride. We worked for perfect attendance and would get a certificate signed by the County Superintendent of Schools. It was important to parents to get their children to school.
Growing up on the farm was a hard life, but I had many happy memories. We all worked together, and I worked in the field with my dad and brother. The depression was a hard time. Crops didn’t grow without rain, and then hail destroyed the crops before they could be cut. Debts piled up and it took many crops to pay them off.
The school house was the place where the community gathered for meetings, school programs and good times.
This was where we went to church. A minister from Alexander would come out to preach.
At one time, we had a Methodist minister and then a Lutheran minister. We had some older people from Norway, and every so often, the sermon would be in Norwegian.
My brother and I went to Williston for high school. We stayed in town during the week and would go home on week-ends.
I taught school for two years in Alexander (1945-47) and then moved to Livingston. I taught first grade at East Side School until I retired with 42 years of service.
I had become a member of the American Lutheran Church shortly after I came here. At that time the church was smaller with the entrance on Lewis Street. I taught Sunday School and Bible School for many years. When the school had the new addition, I helped with many others to paint Sunday School rooms and the inside of the church. I’ve enjoyed the experience of learning to meat meatballs, make lefse and quilts.
I married Clair William Olson on February 25, 1950 , who was raised north of Columbus and then worked for the railroad. We enjoyed motorcycle riding and flying our airplane. Many Sunday mornings I was at the airport instead of church.
We have a daughter, Kathy, who taught music in Missoula. My two grandchildren are Christian and Sarah. Christian and his fiancée, Crystal Clemens live in Eugene, Oregon. Sarah is married to Laurent Meurisse, and she and their family live in Atlanta, Georgia. Sarah and Laurent have given me two great-granddaughters, Mila Mary Warmè Meurisse and Willow Giselle Ives Meurisse.
Preceding me in death were my parents, Henry and Beryl, husband, Clair who passed in Oct. of 2002 and my brother, Clayton and his wife Ruthie.
Memorials may be made to: Stafford Animal Shelter, 3 Business Park Rd, Livingston, MT 59047 or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals in Mary’s memory.
Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory.