Obituary for James R. Olson | Ryan Funeral Homes
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James R. Olson

October 22, 1942 ~ February 2, 2018 (age 75)

MADISON – James (Jim) Richard Olson passed away peacefully at home Friday, February 2, 2018 in Madison.

He was born on October 22, 1942 in Sun Prairie and was preceded in death by his wife, Alexis (Deruchowski) Olson; parents, Daniel and Emma (Lukes) Olson; sister, Gloria Grossman (Olson); and brother, Robert Olson.

He is survived by his daughter, Angela Olson of Appleton; son, James J. (Caroline) of Columbia, MD; sister, Judy (Chris) Cain of Oregon; WI nieces, Melanie (Mike) Faris and Amy (Josh) Graves; and nephew, Brian Grossman.

After graduating from Central High School in Madison in 1961, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he trained to become a medic. He obtained an Expert Badge for rifle and was honorably discharged in March of 1970. He then worked for UW-Madison in the genetics department as a medical photographer with disabled children and always had the ability to make them smile. After he retired, Jim became a crossing guard for the City of Madison and was a hero to a student he saved from being struck by a car while crossing the street.

Jim enjoyed exercising at Pinnacle Health in Fitchburg and loved spending his Sunday afternoons with close friends at Angelo’s in Monona. His most beloved time, however, was spent with his wife, Alexis, on vacations to Hawaii. Jim’s interest in politics was apparent to all who knew him, as he was a verbal activist against current societal injustices. His activism extended to the spiritual connections he had with those who passed before him and he was featured in the documentary Haunted State: Theatre of Shadows (2017) produced by his daughter Angela and beloved friend Michael Brown of Hungry Lion Productions. However, his dog Buffy was the true joy in his life and was always by his side until the moment he passed.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at St. Peter Catholic Church, 5001 N. Sherman Ave. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church on Thursday. Burial will follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Shorewood Cocker Rescue Group can be made in Jim’s name

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Donations may be made to:

Shorewood Cocker Rescue Group

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