top banner

Obituary Listings

William Fredrick Olson

January 21, 1934 June 13, 2019
William Fredrick Olson
There are condolences waiting approval on William's Tribute wall

Plant a tree in memory of William

An environmentally friendly option
Obituary for William Fredrick Olson

William F. ("Bill") Olson passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on June 13, 2019.
His memorial celebration will be held Saturday, June 29 at 4 pm in the Youth Chapel of the College Place Seventh-day Adventist Village Church. Everyone who knew him is welcome to attend.
Bill was born on January 21, 1934 in Paris, Tennessee to Ludwig Eugene Olson and Margie Opal (Wimberley) Olson. The family soon moved to New York Mills, Minnesota and then on to Wadena, Minnesota, where Bill went to school through the 9th grade, at which time the family moved to Pendleton, Oregon. Bill and his brother Harry worked in the pea fields for the summer, and subsequent summers at Harris Pine Mills. When school started Bill was off to attend Laurelwood Academy for 3 years, graduating in 1951.
After academy graduation the family moved to Crescent City, California, where Bill met Donna Lee Emmerson, whose family had also recently moved to the area. Both the Olson and Emmerson families often said they must have moved there just so Bill and Donna could meet! After spending time with each other at church socials and youth get-togethers, Bill and Donna realized they didn't ever want to live without each other and they were married August 31, 1952 - not long after both families moved away from Crescent City.
In 1954 their first son, William Eugene, was born. Four more children were soon added to the family - Debby Jean, Robert Allen, Jan Louise and, last but not least, Kathy Joleen - for a total of 5 children within 6 years.
By this time Bill and Donna lived in St Helena, California. They attended the St Helena Adventist Church where they took an active part in all aspects of church life, from helping to build the new church and serving on the social events committee to becoming Sabbath school leaders for the youth. As their children grew, they were leaders in various other Sabbath school divisions, vacation bible school, and home and school events. Donna would come up with a plan and Bill would build it, together creating amazing and fun events for family, friends and community.
Bill became the director of the Thunderbird Pathfinder Club (St Helena/Elmshaven) for boys and girls, assuming a leadership role for 10 years with Donna right by his side helping. In this way he took an active part in his children's lives as well as the lives of many other young people in the area.
Through all these years Bill worked in construction, eventually becoming a licensed contractor. Over the years he often built homes from the ground up, but he was especially gifted in cabinetry and finish work, including restoration projects on many villas and old mansions in the Napa Valley. Among the more famous were a couple of houses used in the movie Pollyanna: Stags Leap off the Silverado Trail, used as the facade for the home of old Mr. Pendergast, and the big old white house used for the facade of Aunt Polly's home.
When Bill retired from construction work in 1980, he and Donna took up managing retirement living apartments for the active retired in Oregon and Idaho. At the same time they maintained connections with the young people at Walla Walla University, opening their home to them and getting them involved in programs for the elderly. After 20 years in this line of work, they "retired" and moved to Oregon (Roseburg and then Myrtle Creek), where they opened their home and hearts to care for 4 developmentally disabled adults. Bill and Donna cared for "the boys" until the fall of 2016, when they finally retired for good and moved to Walla Walla, Washington.
Bill's favorite pastimes were music, especially playing the guitar and singing, afternoon drives on country roads with Donna, trains, car races and spending time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He especially delighted in the babies! Bill was a devoted husband of 67 years and was always supportive, loyal and loving to his sweetheart, spending every day and night by her side. "Where one was, you could find the other" and he handed that legacy of love and commitment down to his children and grandchildren. Most of all, Bill loved reading his bible and looking for and doing the will of his heavenly Father each day.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife Donna and their five children and spouses - Bill and Maureen Olson, Debby and Dave Harmon, Bob and Linda Olson, Jan and Stan Hendrickson, and Joleen and Samir Yasa - as well as 21 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 2 sisters - Nancy White and Lucy Olson - his sister-in-law Janet Olson, and numerous nieces and nephews.

To plant a tree in memory of William Fredrick Olson, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




4:00 PM 6/29/2019 4:00:00 PM
Chapel of the Village SDA Church

12th and Larch Streets
College Place, WA 99324

Family prefers Memorial Contributions rather than flowers.

Chapel of the Village SDA Church
12th and Larch Streets College Place 99324 WA
United States

Cemetery Details


Mount Hope Cemetery, College Place, Washington Final Resting Place

College Place, WA 99324

College Place 99324 WA
United States

Create new album
Subscribe To Obituaries

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.