Keith Olson was born March 5th, 1940 in Duluth, MN. He shall be remembered best for the selfless, loving care he gave his wife Patricia who suffered from early onset Lewy Body Dementia. During his childhood years he began shining shoes at the Spalding Hotel and then became a bellhop. Due to a difficult family life he spent time at the Duluth Children's home on East 1st Street in Duluth. At a very young age he was sent to the Red Wing Boys Reformatory school in Red Wing, MN. A song by Bob Dylan called "Walls of Red Wing" depicts life there for the 12-17 year olds.
God sent him his wife Patricia who was studying piano at the University of Minnesota Duluth and where she ended up teaching piano for 30 years. He referred to her as "the love of my life" and as having "saved my life." In her late 40's she developed Lewy Body Dementia. LBD is a disease that affects 1.4 million Americans a year. Protein deposits called Lewy Bodies, develop in the nerve cells in the brain regions involving thinking, memory, and movement control.
His past employment consists of working as a member of the Local 106 in Duluth and he was proud to have helped build the Blatnik bridge and assist in its refurbishment from 1992-1993. He helped renew the church steeple at the First Presbyterian Church in Duluth where his wife was also the organist for 30 years. He opened his own urethane foam business in Superior, WI. Finally, his last venture was turning his historic home of 40 years on Superior Street into a bed and breakfast called the Lord Frazer House. Due to his wife's illness he was forced to sell the home. He never recovered from the loss of his home and beautiful memories he had with his family. Lewy Body is also considered a "family" disease in that it affects the caregivers and family members significantly. In distress he moved with his wife Patricia to Branson, Missouri. He remained there 13 years. Selflessly he cared for her until she went to heaven on Nov. 9th, 2014. They have wonderful memories of swimming in Table Rock Lake with their Chocolate Lab Rusty on their pontoon.
Last year he moved to Hallandale Beach, FL to live with his daughter Lorraine. In an effort to bring joy to his life his daughter took him cruising to such places as St. Thomas, St. Marteen, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Belize, Curacao, and many more islands in the Western, Eastern, and Southern Caribbean. After all of this travel he still said the best memories of his life were with his wife and children driving up the North Shore of Lake Superior and spending time on the Gunflint Trail at their cabin on Hungry Jack Lake.
On the day of his operation at Mnt. Sinai medical center in Miami Beach he told the surgeon "I miss my wife"." A few days later on a Sunday with the church bells ringing his daughter walked into Mnt. Sinai and was by his side as he went to heaven. He heard his wife playing Bach and Beethoven on the piano calling him home and he was rejoined with her again. In an effort to bring awareness to the disease of Lewy Body Dementia the family would like any donation be made to the
Lewy Body Dementia Association: 912 Killian Hill RD SW Suite 205 Alburn, Georgia 30047.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, John and Dorothy Olson of Duluth. He is survived by his son Wade Olson and wife Cally, and grandson Brody Olson all of Duluth. He is also survived by his daughter Lorraine of Hallandale Beach Florida, grandson James Smith and his girlfriend Katrina Pruett, and great grandson Ethan Smith all of Apple Valley, MN.
Service to be held at The First Presbyterian Church 300 E 2nd St. Duluth November 20th at 2 p.m.