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Published June 13, 2013, 12:00 AM

Otis Olson

Otis lived on a farm in Lee Township his grandparents, Christian and Marie (Rask) Olson, homesteaded in 1879. They came from Hallingdale, Norway in 1866. Their son, Olaus, and his sister, Hannah Olson Rutser, took over the farm in 1891. Olaus married Dorothy O. Schow, who died in 1915 giving birth to twin girls, Dorothy and Huldah. Olaus married Agnes B. Vigen and to this marriage Otis was born on March 1, 1928. Otis was baptized and confirmed in Kirkebo Lutheran Church, Perley, MN. When Olaus became disabled and could no longer continue farming, Otis just finishing the 8th grade, left his schooling to take over the farm operation with his mother. Otis married Delora Knickrehm on March 7, 1971, at St. John Lutheran Church, Perham, MN. Together they continued to farm on the homestead. She died December 21, 1992.

Otis was active in the county, city, and church levels for many years; serving at Kirkebo Lutheran as co-treasurer with Delora, and singing in their choir. For many years, Otis was a volunteer in the Fire Department at Perley; a board member of the Farmers Union, which oversaw the gas station and store; Lee Township Board member; and Chairman, with Barbara, of the local AAL Chapter. He took pride in serving his community and church. In his 51 years farming, Otis sustained several major floods with the farm, located on the banks of the Red River.

Otis Olson

Otis lived on a farm in Lee Township his grandparents, Christian and Marie (Rask) Olson, homesteaded in 1879. They came from Hallingdale, Norway in 1866. Their son, Olaus, and his sister, Hannah Olson Rutser, took over the farm in 1891. Olaus married Dorothy O. Schow, who died in 1915 giving birth to twin girls, Dorothy and Huldah. Olaus married Agnes B. Vigen and to this marriage Otis was born on March 1, 1928. Otis was baptized and confirmed in Kirkebo Lutheran Church, Perley, MN. When Olaus became disabled and could no longer continue farming, Otis just finishing the 8th grade, left his schooling to take over the farm operation with his mother. Otis married Delora Knickrehm on March 7, 1971, at St. John Lutheran Church, Perham, MN. Together they continued to farm on the homestead. She died December 21, 1992.

Otis was active in the county, city, and church levels for many years; serving at Kirkebo Lutheran as co-treasurer with Delora, and singing in their choir. For many years, Otis was a volunteer in the Fire Department at Perley; a board member of the Farmers Union, which oversaw the gas station and store; Lee Township Board member; and Chairman, with Barbara, of the local AAL Chapter. He took pride in serving his community and church. In his 51 years farming, Otis sustained several major floods with the farm, located on the banks of the Red River.

On one of the many bus tours Otis traveled, he met Barbara J. Schaeffer in 1993. They married in Kirkebo Lutheran on March 18, 1994. Otis would comment that there were six ministers attending the ceremony, his, hers, and ours. The homily was given by his new brother-in-law, the Rev. Robert Dovenmuehler of Watertown, SD. With Barbara came her four adult children; David, St. Paul, MN, Douglas, Fargo, ND, Dan and Heidi Schaeffer and children Kayley 11 and Kaitlynn 8 of West Fargo, Deb Schaeffer, and her daughter Ella 6, Moorhead, MN.

Otis and Barbara traveled around the globe; Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, cruises to the Caribbean, and bus tours in the US and Canada. He joined Barbara in the settlement of 40 of the Lost Boys from Sudan in the Fargo/Moorhead area. It was in this ministry that Otis found his calling after farming. Securing household goods and employment was a 24/7 venture with the arrival of the boys with nothing but backpacks. Many a bed was transported to the 3rd floor housing with Otis' pickup. He treasured the memories of each of the boys. Many of you have heard the stories over and over as he proudly spoke of them. And speak he did. Otis never tired of visiting with others. It did not matter where, why or who, Otis liked to visit, either in Norwegian or English, it didn't matter.

Otis suffered a stroke in June, 2007, which took him from the farm to Elim, Waterford, Good Samaritan of Fargo, Eventide, and finally, to Bethany on University in Fargo. At age 85, Otis succumbed on June 11, 2013.

Otis was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Delora; half-sister, Huldah (Andrew) Tungesvik; and half-brother-in-law, Chester Venn. He is survived by wife, Barbara; her four children; three grandchildren; half-sister, Dorothy Venn, Halstad, MN; her children, Milan (Mavis) Venn, Eden, UT, and Delores (Jack) Clark, Missoula, MT; half-nieces, Mary Jane (Jerome) Halvorson, Wyndmere, ND, and Helen Ann (William) Ludwig, Minneapolis, MN; sister-in-law, Judy (Rev. Robert) Dovenmuehler, Sioux Falls, SD; and sister-in-law, Betty Medley, Washington.

Visitation: Friday, 5 PM to 7 PM with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM in Korsmo Funeral Chapel, Moorhead.

Funeral Service: Saturday, June 15, 2013, at 11:00 AM, in Kirkebo Lutheran Church, Perley, MN.

Interment: Kirkebo Lutheran Cemetery, Perley, MN.

On-line Guestbook at www.korsmofuneralservice.com

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