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Wayne Olson

Oct. 7, 1935-June 27, 2009

Wayne A. Olson, 73, of Detroit Lakes, died unexpectedly after surgery on Saturday, June 27, 2009.

Wayne Allen Olson was born to Leif Arthur and Hilda Olson on Oct. 7, 1935 in Drayton, N.D., where he attended school. After completing high school, Wayne graduated from the University of North Dakota.

Wayne married Ruth Kyllo in 1965. They had two children, Andrea and Leif.

Wayne began his professional career in retail, ultimately owning his own department store. After attaining his degree in Vocational Education, he taught Small Business Management courses at the Detroit Lakes Area Vocational Technical Institute. The states of Minnesota and North Dakota contracted him to write a Small Business Management Manual. His career led him into public relations and eventually into real estate. Wayne began a home inspection business, which he ran until the time of his death.

Wayne served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was a U.S. Jaycee Senator, charter member of the Detroit Lakes Curling Club, member of the Lake Detroiters Association Board, and member of the Tamarac Interpretive Association Board.

His passions included his grandchildren, gardening, merchandising -- which led him to enhancing the Tamarac Wildlife Refuge gift shop -- traveling, making lutefisk and spending time with family and friends.

Surviving Wayne are his wife Ruth; children, Andrea (Jordan) Bonney of Bloomington, Minn., and Leif Olson of Eden Prairie Minn.; two grandchildren; his brother, Elwood Olson of Missoula, Mont.; and five nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents and a brother, Truman.

Memorial services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, July 3 at First Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes, with visitation for one hour prior.

West-Kjos Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the funeral home's online messages of sympathy section at

Memorial donations may be made to Tamarac Interpretive Association of the Tamarac Wildlife Refuge or to the First Lutheran Church Building Fund.