Bennie Leonard Olson Sr.April 8, 1924 ~ March 16, 2017 (age 92)
DeForest-Bennie L. Olson Sr., age 92, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 16, 2017. He was born on April 8, 1924, the son of Olin and Una (Barsness) Olson. Bennie married the love of his life, Virginia “Ginny” (Bischoff) Olson, on February 19, 1949, and together they raised three caring children. Bennie graduated from DeForest Union High School in 1942. After graduation he was employed with Oscar Mayer and went to work by train. As part of the greatest generation, Bennie was a proud but humble veteran of WWII. He entered the Army Air Corps in February of 1943, as a member of the 394th Bomb Group. He served in the European theater until October of 1945. During his service he received the Soldier’s Medal for Valor and also received a Bronze and Silver Star. He and Ginny attended many military reunions over the years. Later in life he would share the events of his service with family and friends. He was an active member of American Legion Post 348 for 69 years. Bennie was sponsored by Post 348 to go on Badger Honor Flight in 2011. He considered that one of the best days of his life. In 1946 he began his 40 year career with Wisconsin Power & Light. He was known as “Mr. Power & Light” to all the locals. Farmers considered him the main contact whenever there was a power outage. He spent a lot of hours helping others during and after a storm including the ice storm of 1976. He was very active in the community. He was a DeForest volunteer fireman for many years. As a member of Christ Lutheran Church, he served as an usher, a Sunday school teacher, cemetery committee member and the best coffee “pourer” at the annual lutefisk dinner. In his spare time he would always attend sporting events and activities of his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. He enjoyed spending time with his family and truly knew his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and they truly knew him. Bennie was a very good bowler. He started as a pin setter at Dahl’s Bowling Alley. At age 72 he rolled a 299. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling. Bennie always had a story and enjoyed visiting with others at every opportunity.
Bennie is survived by his children, Holly (LaVerne) Stark, Bennie (Jill) Olson Jr., and Scott (Denise) Olson; seven grandchildren, Nicole, Tania, Brennan, Shaina, Allison, Erin and Ashley; seven great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Sharon (Bob) Pavey; brother-in-law, Tom Statz; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Ginny; sisters, Charlotte (Lewie) Fisher and Frances (Frank) Patton; and sister-in-law, Beverly Statz.
A Funeral Service will be held at 11am on Monday, March 20, 2017 at CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH, 220 S Main St, DeForest, with Rev. Sue Beadle and Rev. Peter Clark presiding. A visitation will take place on Sunday, March 19, 2017 from 4pm to 7pm at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 6924 Lake Road, DeForest and again on Monday, March 20 at the church from 10am until the time of service. Interment will take place at a later date.
A special thank you to the staffs at Parkside Living, Oak Park Rehab and Dean Clinic Sun Prairie.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the DeForest American Legion, Post 348.
Bennie, Dad, Grandpa and Uncle Bud: you showed us kindness, caring, patience and love of family are so important in life. We will miss your guidance, leadership, stories and positive attitude. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home
& Cremation Services
6924 Lake Road