Retired United States Air Force (USAF) Master Sergeant Albert Lee Olson, 86, of Bagley, Minnesota, passed away on Thursday, July 22nd, at his home in Bagley. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 31st, at Poplar Lake Lutheran Church, rural Fosston, with the Rev. Andrew Virkus officiating. Interment will be in Lima Cemetery, rural Erskine, MN. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. Military honors will be provided by the Irvin-Blix American Legion Post #16, Spring Lake V.F.W. Post #2759 of Lengby and the Air Force Honors Team. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston and messages of condolence may be shared at www.carlinfuneral.com.
Albert was born July 8, 1935, in Winger Township, Polk County, Minnesota, to parents Albert and Minnie Olson. In 1942, Albert began attending Fosston school starting in first grade, and prior to graduating high school, enlisted into the USAF at the age of 17.
On June 12, 1953, Albert began Basic Military Training at Parks AFB, CA, and was subsequently stationed at Scott AFB, IL; West Palm Beach, FL; Misawa Air Base, Japan; Walker AFB, NM; Minot AFB, ND; Ent AFB, CO; King Salmon Air Station, AK; Luke AFB, AZ; and McChord AFB, WA; as well as 11 months in Vietnam on two separate deployments. On May 1, 1975, Albert retired and was honorably discharged from the USAF after 21.5 years of loyal and dedicated military service. Albert was a true patriot and loved to recount and reminisce about his many wonderful experiences as an Air Operations and Administrative supervisor, especially at his final assignment at McChord, where he scheduled all VIP flights. Fondly and matter of factly, Albert would say, “I had a good military career. I did what I wanted and nobody bothered me.”
He was married to Mieko Kashiwaya and later to Susan Pierson. In August 1977, Albert decided it was best to relocate his family to Bagley, Minnesota, to take care of his ailing father. After arriving, Albert began logging and had a 20 year contract with Northwood Panelboard Company. In 1985, Albert and his wife Susan ventured into the mobile food stand business, ultimately owning and operating three units. For over 20 years they were well known throughout northern Minnesota, serving food at auctions, county fairs, and countless other special events. Albert never met a stranger, and in 2002, he began volunteer driving for the Veteran’s Administration, and Clearwater and Polk Counties, transporting fellow Veterans and others to and fro medical and legal appointments, which he truly enjoyed.
Albert was an avid reader, a worldwide traveler, loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping, playing basketball in his prime (with a mean right and left hook shot), shooting pool, playing cards, watching countless historical military and true crime stories on television, piddling in his shop, collecting many “treasures”, and several beloved German Shepherd companions.
Albert attended Poplar Lake Lutheran Church in Fosston, and was a lifetime member of VFW Post 2759 in Lengby and the Irvin-Blix American Legion Post #16 of Bagley.
Albert is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Susan Olson of Bagley; daughters Linda (Eric) Needham, Pullman, WA; Susan (Alex) Starner, Tacoma, WA; Tracy (Eric) Brumskill, Bryan, TX; sons James, Pullman, WA; Mark (Jill), Bagley; Jeffery, Bemidji; Franklin (Patti), Duluth; 15 special grandchildren and one great granddaughter; sister Mary Ann (Kenneth) Brown; sisters-in-law Trudi and Mary Lou, and countless special nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Albert is preceded in death by his son, David Olson; grandson Chez Olson; brothers Stanley and Franklin; and parents Albert and Minnie Olson.