Art Olien, 95, of Oakes, ND died July 31, 2020 in his home after a brief illness.
Art was born December 18, 1924 in Bison, SD to Arthur and Lucile (Williams) Olien. He often remarked about his growing up in Bison where he and his older brother Warren were given the latitude and freedom to explore and enjoy their childhood.
The family eventually moved to Lemmon, SD in 1937 where his father owned and operated Olien Tractor for many years. Art graduated from Lemmon High School in 1942 and answered the call of duty by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. He served with distinction in the Chinese and Pacific Theater as a radio man on a B-25 bomber. Upon his discharge in 1946, he enrolled at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD graduating in 1950 with a degree in civil engineering. On December 29, 1950, Art was united in marriage to Grace Jackson, also of Lemmon, SD.
Art’s career with the Bureau of Reclamation took he and Grace to many different locations in the Dakota’s and Montana. Eventually rising to a GS 13 with the Bureau, Art worked on many water projects including Oahe and Garrison Diversion. Art and Grace began raising their family in the 1950’s and children Reed, Nancy and Matt were all born in different cities.
In 1974 Art went to work for the U.S. Department of Interior as Chief inspector on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which he often referred to as the most interesting job of his career.
Art and Grace enjoyed their retirement in Oakes during which they traveled to Australia, Norway and Europe. An avid and skilled golfer, he enjoyed nothing more than teeing it up with his children and many friends. Art coached the Oakes High School golf team for several years during the 1980’s.
His crowning achievement came in 2002 when he won the Hogan division (75 and over) North Dakota State Championship. He amazed his friends by routinely shooting his age or better, estimated by his son Reed, more than 400 times. Reed was lucky enough to witness most of those rounds. A mere month before he died, he played his final 18 holes and carded a 93 at the Oakes Golf Club.
Grateful for sharing his life, he is survived by his wife Grace, son Reed of Oakes, daughter Nancy of East Grand Forks, MN, son Matt (Desira) of Fargo, ND and his beloved grandchildren, Nick and Chloe Olien of Fargo, ND.
Art was preceded in death by his parents, and his 3 brothers, Warren, Neil and Howard. One of the great sorrows of Arts life was the death of his brother Warren in World War II, the first boy in Perkins County, SD to die in the war.
A memorial service will be held in Oakes at a later date. Memories may be shared and viewed by visiting www.dahlstromfuneralhome.com.