Donald Kenneth Olson


Don passed away peacefully in his sleep on the 4th of July, 2010 at Evergreen Hospice in Kirkland. He had a 7 month battle with lung cancer that was not discovered until he was in Arizona on vacation.  Don was born November 9, 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He was 80 years old.

Don went in the Marine Corps after high school and served from 1947 until 1952.  He was in active duty combat from 1950 to 1952 in Korea.

After returning home from Korea, Don went to the University of Minnesota and married. That marriage of 15 years gave him two lovely daughters, Kathy and Cindy.


He was store manager at Montgomery Wards and a buyer for Dayton’s. He also bought a company from his father that manufactured a specialized oil lubricant and additive for engines.

In 1960, tired of the cold winters of Minnesota, he moved to Arizona and worked in designing packaging and molding for shipping.  Don spent 25 years in the Phoenix area. He married Jane Clubb in 1978.  They moved to Mercer Island, WA. in 1986.  Six weeks after arriving to their new home, Jane passed away suddenly.

Looking for something to fill his time, Don took up square dancing with a passion. He loved it and danced several times a week.  He was also an active Mason since 1953 and served as Master of the Mercer Island Lodge twice.

AA was another important part of Don’s life. He wanted to help others. He went to his last meeting a couple of weeks ago in a wheelchair and received his 31 year chip for 31 years of sobriety.  He was an inspiration for many.

Don & Diane in 2010

Don met Diane Goegelein square dancing and they were married in 1990. They were members of several dance clubs over the last 20 years but the main club they danced with was Woodinville Toestompers. They loved to camp and RV and went to many dance campout weekends and traveled to several states to dance.  They went to several National festivals dancing also.  Even while Don was battling his cancer, he would get a pass out of the hospital in Arizona for the afternoon or evening to go to a square dance. Don even took his oxygen to the last few dances so he could breathe easier between dances. He loved it.  He especially enjoyed going to beginner lessons to dance with new people and encourage them to enjoy the sport and meet the friendliest people around.  It is friendship set to music. He often gave his corner a yellow rock (hug), and said “so many corners, so little time”.
He also loved camping in the forest and his favorite campground was the Masonic Park in Granite Falls beside the river.


Don is survived by his wife, Diane of 20 years; his 2 daughters Kathy (Jerry) Croteau of Helena, Montana, Cindy (Geoffrey) Nohr of Enterprise, Oregon, as well as five grandchildren, Nichole, Trenton, Leo, Rachelle, Gwendolynn and two sisters, Lorraine (Jack) Pierson, Alabama and Dorothy (Paul) Freeberg, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

There will be a Memorial Service for Don on Wednesday, July 14th at 2:00 p.m. at the Woodcrest Estates club house for all of his many friends, neighbors and dancers.  11808 NE 172nd St., Bothell, WA 98011   Take 160th exit off 405.  Go east on 160th, left at Brickyard Road (north). Go left at Woodcrest Estates entrance about 1 mile from 160th. Take first right and then immediate left on172nd St.   Go past about 4 houses and Clubhouse is on the right.

Don with Diane & DeeDee

In honor of Don’s love of dancing, there will be a short square dance, with rounds, following the service for watching or dancing, if enough dancers want to swing their partners.

I think Don will be looking for a square dance in heaven to go to.  He will be so missed.

2 Responses to “Donald Kenneth Olson”

  • Mari Cruver says:

    With great sadness, please accept my condolences for your loss. Don had such a vivacious zest for life. I will miss his smile, and sense of humor. His character was always a bright spot and I was happy to see him and have a neighborly visit as he came and went with his RV in the storage lot at Woodcrest. He will be missed. With sympathy, Mari J Cruver, Woodcrest Estates.

  • Gwynne Johnson says:

    I jut heard about Don and wanted to express our condolences. We hope you have family near by to help you at this trying time. We look forward to seeing you in Casa Grande this fall. Hugs and Love Gwynne and Orville

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