Olaf R. Golberg, 82

Published 7:01 am Sunday, October 11, 2015



Olaf (Ole) Richard Golberg passed away Oct. 7, 2015, at the Good Samaritan Society Center in St. Ansgar, Iowa.

Ole was born a few minutes after his twin brother (Nels) on Nov. 29, 1933 to parents Oris and Clara Golberg. Although twin births were not a common occurrence, both healthy boys thrived and were often a “handful,” “typical boys” during their youth. Later joined by their younger sister (Karen), the Golberg family lived on a beautiful farm south of Lyle, Minnesota.

Ole attended elementary school in Mona, Iowa, and graduated from Lyle High School in 1951.

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After enlisting in the US Army in 1955, Ole was stationed at Fort Chaffee Arkansas and Fort Hood Texas. He was honorably discharged in 1957. Ole married his high school sweetheart and former school bus passenger, Florence Myhre on June 27, 1955. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

An automobile enthusiast at an early age, Ole lived his dream in 1969 when he and friends flew to the Indy 500 auto race. Ole often shared photos and memories of the thrilling experience watching Mario Andretti win what came to be his only Indy victory. Developing his auto mechanic skills while employed at Kal’s Shell (Lyle) and Dibbles GM dealership (Austin, Minnesota), Ole achieved his multi specialty GM certification which led to another goal of opening his business, Ole’s Auto in Lyle. Oil changes and tune ups included a few jokes, ‘car talk’ and sports updates from local high schools, college teams; Vikings, Twins; NASCAR, Indy and nearly every local race track in southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and Wisconsin. High school students often stopped by with their first car to have Ole check it out. “No charge” for those visits but plenty of maintenance advice to keep the cars running. The Lyle Fourth of July parade was a favorite event for Ole, proudly sitting in the driver seat of a stylish car tossing candy to the children; many of them knew Ole from visits to his garage while in need of a quick bicycle repair.

Occasionally joining the “pit crew” for local racing teams, Ole transformed into a young, grinning boy again, eager to get the race cars back on the oval. The proud owner of a few classic cars, Ole enjoyed driving and maintaining both old and new model vehicles while embracing automobile technology changes. There was also a 1949 Harley Davidson that Ole enjoyed riding for only a short time. When the gravel road met the gas tank, Florence found a buyer for a quick sale. Ole’s version of the story was slightly different.

An avid fisherman, Ole traveled to Canada with his buddies Stub, Leo, Elmo and brother-in-law Gene. Always returning home with a fine catch of walleye and northern pike, the best fish dinners were served while the families listened to the stories about the big ones that got away.

Ole had a special place in his heart for all animals especially dogs and cats. Dog treats were generally within reach often used to coax lost pups safely to their homes.

Family summer road trips to several states: Nashville, Yellowstone Park, the Grand Tetons, Texas and visits with nephews stationed in the Army in Oklahoma and Colorado. The trunk of Ole’s car, carefully packed including a cooler with snacks from Florence’s kitchen and plenty of room for car parts, “just in case.” Ole’s cars were “tip top” however, several travelers stranded along the roadside were less fortunate until Ole pulled over to offer assistance. Strangers quickly became friends when Ole offered to take a look under the hood, only to perform yet another “craftsman” miracle.

A faithful member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Lyle and currently First Lutheran Church, St Ansgar, Ole and Florence were grateful to worship with strong, supportive congregations.

A dedicated member of the Lyle Legion Post 105 and a volunteer fireman, Ole was proud to serve and support his community. He respected the U.S. flag with honor and would often give a salute and shed a tear during our National Anthem.

Ole was preceded in death by his parents, Oris and Clara Golberg; loving wife, Florence; and infant son, Steven.

Survivors that will greatly miss Ole include his daughter, Kathy, Santa Rosa, California; brother Nels (Shirley), St. Ansgar, Iowa; sister, Karen (Robert) Cook, Charles City, Iowa; brother-in-law, sister in-law Eugene and Audrey Myhre, St. Ansgar, Iowa; sister-in-law, Alta Joynes, Austin, Minnesota; cousins, several nieces, nephews and many friends across the miles.

The family extends heartfelt gratefulness to the entire clinical staff and administrators of Good Samaritan Society, St. Ansgar for providing loving care and support to Ole and family members for several months. To Dr. Kelly Ross, thank you for providing exceptional, personalized care during your visits with Ole. Special gratitude and appreciation to the St. Croix Hospice team for leading Ole and the family through his journey with respect, dignity and love. To the communities of St. Ansgar, Lyle and surrounding areas thank you for taking time to stop by to visit with Ole. He appreciated the conversations and often responded with his engaging smile.

Funeral services are scheduled for p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, 1:30 at First Lutheran Church, St. Ansgar, Iowa, with Pastor Christopher Staley officiating. Interment following at Six Mile Grove church cemetery. Schroeder & Sites Funeral Home St. Ansgar, IA is coordinating the arrangements.