LTC Richard J. "Dick" Olson
January 18, 1920 - April 16, 2005
OLSON, Richard J. (Dick) LTC (Ret.) (Age 85) – passed away Saturday, April 16, after a short illness with his wife, Beverly, at his side.
He was born January 18, 1920 to Carl Oscar and Janie Louise Olson in Rigby, Idaho. After graduating from high school he worked in his fathers construction business until he joined the Army Air Corp. in April 1942. He served in the India, Burma and China Theatre. He was discharged in December, 1945 and worked four years for the John C. Olson Construction company until he was mobilized for the Korean Conflict with the 116th Engineer Combat Battalion in Southeast Idaho August 1950. He returned from Korea in April 1952 and was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA. In 1953 he was assigned to the 862nd Aviator Battalion at Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Germany. He and the family returned from Germany in July 1956 to Terre Haute, Indiana where he was Senior Advisor of Army Reserve units in the area. In 1958 he was assigned as Sub Sector Commander advising reserve units in North Eastern Colorado with headquarters in Ft. Collins, CO. In October 1960 he returned to Germany and was assigned to the 317th Engineer Battalion in Frankfurt. The family joined him at Christmas time. Upon returning to the States in 1963 he was assigned to U.S. Army Engineer Center at Ft. Belvoir, VA as Assist. Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. 1965 took him to Vietnam with the 19th Engineer Combat Battalion. After a year in Vietnam he and the family came to Spokane where he was Spokane Area Commander of reserve units in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho for two years until retiring from active duty in October 1968. He then worked for R. A. Hansen Co. as Traffic Manager and Personnel Manager for 16 years retiring in 1985.
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Beverly. His three children preceded him in death, Janet Rae, Dennis James, and Denise Lyn. Dennis and Denise were born in Bitburg. Survivors include a brother, Jack Olson, Rexburg; sister, Mildred Miles, Rigby, Bev's sisters, Shirley Crismon, Boise, Arlene and Jim Hubble, Idaho Falls, Carol and Dean Smart, Sandy, UT who thought of him as a brother and many nieces and nephews who loved Uncle Dick.
His military decoration include numerous theatre and battle awards including the Bronze Star for service in Vietnam. He was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Funeral services will be held Friday, April 22nd at the Foothills LDS Chapel at 5322 N. Evergreen Rd. at 11:00 A.M. Conducted by Bishop Richard Creagh. Following the service a reception will be held at the Elks Lodge, 2605 N. Robie Rd. Dick was a charter member of the Spokane Chapter of the Retired Officer's Assn. (MOAA), Spokane Elks Lodge 228 and a lifetime member of the VFW. He and Bev enjoyed traveling with two RV Clubs after he retired. There will be a short service at Eckersell Memorial Chapel, Rigby, Idaho, Monday, April 25th with burial at the Rigby Pioneer Cemetery beside his children. He will receive full military honors. Memorials may be made to the Elks National Foundation, Spokane Lodge 228, 2605 N. Robie Rd., Spokane, WA 99206 or a charity of one's choice.
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