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Marilyn Olson

June 27, 1939-Dec. 15, 2010

Marilyn B. Olson, 71, of rural Lake Park, died Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at her home, after a three-month battle with liver cancer. She had fought breast cancer eight years ago and was a cancer survivor until this past October.

Marilyn was born the daughter of Walter and Lynn Turnell on June 27, 1939 in Vancouver, British Columbia. She moved to California with her family as a young child. Marilyn graduated from Covina High School and later from Chico State University in California, where she received her elementary teaching degree. She taught kindergarten at Lompoc, Calif., for five years.

Marilyn met Duane Olson at Lompoc, and they were united in marriage on March 18, 1967. After they were married it was very important to both her and Duane for her to be a full time mom to Toni-Lynn, Todd, and Jeffrey, so she retired from teaching and took on that role.

Duane's military career in the United States Air Force took them to various places, such as California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, several summers in Florida, Mississippi, Woomera in Australia, and Nebraska.

After Duane's retirement from the military, they moved to their farm home on Nelson Lake in rural Lake Park. Marilyn was a member of Strandvik Lutheran Church. She enjoyed quilting, gardening, traveling, square dancing and especially spending time with her family.

She was an avid reader, especially of mystery novels. She shared her passion for reading with her children at an early age. She made over 150 quilts, and many of those were made for presentation to family members for special occasions such as high school graduation. She loved the challenge and joy of selecting the fabric and piecing the quilt tops.

Marilyn loved her herb and flower gardens, and enjoyed collecting unusual plants. She and her daughter had a tradition of going to a special herb nursery in Nebraska every Mother's Day.

Marilyn and Duane were very active in square dancing at their local club (Country Twirlers) as well as being involved at the regional and state levels. They attended many of the national square dance conventions, which took them all around the country.

Marilyn was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother, who loved her family and cherished the fun times they shared together.

Surviving Marilyn are her husband, Duane Olson of rural Lake Park; daughter, Toni Lynn (David) Merchen of Crofton, Neb.; son, Jeffrey (Rhonda) Terracciano of Shreveport, La.; seven grandchildren, Amber (Craig) Jansen, Aron Merchen, Annette (fiancée Rustin Short) Merchen, Nathan Merchen, Justin Terracciano, William Terracciano and Sarah Terracciano; one great grandson, Breckin Jansen; sister, Valerie (Wayne) Valdez of Azusa, Calif.; and sister-in-law, Diane (Gary) Stensland of Urbana, Ill.

Preceding Marilyn in death were her father, Walter Turnell; her mother and stepfather, Lynn and Richard Erbes; son, Todd Terracciano; and one sister, Sharron Turnell Marsden.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21 at West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes.

A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22 at Eksjo Lutheran Church, rural Lake Park.

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