Stewart “Duane” Olson, 94

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Stewart “Duane” Olson, 94

Stewart “Duane” Olson, 94, of Austin, passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin.

He was born in Dodge Center on November 13, 1928, to Mandley and Rose (Saxton) Olson. In his youth he was active in 4H, having a love of flowers, gardening and landscaping. He helped his father on the farm, driving the tractor since age 10 because his legs weren’t long enough to reach the pedal of the shocker. He stayed active in farming, helping his father-in-law and brother-in-law on their farms.

He attended Hayfield High School, transferring to Austin High School his junior year. He played football throughout high school at Hayfield and in Austin. He was only 16 during his senior year of football.

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He worked summers during high school at Geo. A. Hormel & Co. before going to work full-time after graduation. He was proud of the 46 years he spent working at Hormel before retiring in 1992. He was active in Hormel retirees, supported the Hormel Home and Hormel Institute.

He married Constance “Connie” Baxter, the love of his life and neighbor farm girl. They were married on September 11, 1949 in Austin, Minnesota and spent 70 years together before she passed in 2019.

Duane was dedicated to his church, Westminster Presbyterian, serving as an Elder, Deacon, and participating in Fellowship Committee, Bible Study, as a janitor and wherever he could help.

He loved music, he had it playing all the time, especially jazz. He was out at music at the mansion and the music festival even in the last month of his life.

Sports were a huge part of his life, cheering on all Austin Packer teams, as well as Minnesota Gophers and Vikings and Twins. He was happy Twins made the playoffs this year. He supported sports putting years of work into Athletic Club, AHS Hall of Fame, Connie Mack baseball coaching, junior high basketball coaching.

Duane supported his sons through activity in the YMCA Indian Guides and more than 40 years in the Boys Scouts of America.

Duane and Connie loved to travel and did a lot of it in their retirement, journeying to Alaska, Hawaii, Bastogne, Belgium, Paris, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and other destinations in the U.S. Camping trips were fun when the family was growing up. They loved their winter escapes to Fort Myers Beach.

Though he loved these activities, Duane’s favorite role was that as a grandparent. Both treasured time he and Connie spent attending grandchildren’s concerts, graduations, and sporting events from Minnesota to Illinois.

Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Mandley and Rose, his wife, Connie. He is survived by son, Stewart (Cheryl) Olson of Chaska, MN, daughter, Joani (Robert) Phelps of Belvidere, IL, son Scott (Ruth) Olson of Minneapolis, MN, and son, Lance (Trudy) Olson of Edina, MN, eight grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at Westminster Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Michael Olmsted officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 am until the time of the service at the church on Wednesday. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery.

Arrangements by Clasen-Jordan Mortuary