Robert (Bob) Eugene Olson, 80, of Wadena, Iowa died Sunday, May 14, 2017 at Unity Point Health, Marshalltown, Iowa. He was born February 5, 1937 to Gordon and Ruth Olson in rural Strawberry Point, Iowa. At age 4, he attended the old Volga Stone Schoolhouse, then the family moved to rural Arlington, Iowa and Robert attended Arlington School and graduated with the Class of 1955.
In 1956, Robert joined the United States Air Force. After months of training, he was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in Victorville, California. There he met and married his wife, Paula Dodson on December 26, 1959, at San Bernardino, California. To this union, two children were born, Gordon and Mary.
Bob was honorably discharged in 1960, and employed by Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller, following a two month rigid training at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Upon his return he worked at Sea Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington. Other airports he worked at, as a controller were Portland, Oregon, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Decatur, Illinois, and Duluth, Minnesota. After twenty-two years of service, he was among the controllers fired by Ronald Reagan. Then Bob worked for Allied Van Lines, driving a semi-truck coast to coast. He was also an instructor for gliders and multi-engines and was a commander of the Civil Air Patrol in Decatur, Illinois.
In 1996, diabetic retinopathy appeared in his eyes, so legally blind, he retired. After thirty-two years of Minnesota weather, he and Paula moved to Wadena, Iowa. Because of disabling diabetes, Robert entered the Veterans Home in Marshalltown, Iowa where he resided for the past four years.
Those who grieve his passing are his wife of fifty-seven years, Paula; children, Gordon (Sheila) Olson of Fredericksburg, Virginia and Mary Huset of Vancouver, Washington; granddaughters, Theta (Scot) Liedholm, Catrina Monroe, Miata (David) Xchenaker and Summer Huset; two great-granddaughters, Zoey and Hazel Liedholm; siblings, Joan Wolfe of Fountain Hills, Arizona, Richard (Kay) Olson of Godhue, Minnesota, Janice (Gayle) Lewis of Hazelton, Iowa, Joyce Belden of Oelwein, Iowa and many aunts, an uncle, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bob was preceded in death his parents and son-in-law, James Huset.
Funeral Service will be 11:00 am Saturday, June 10, 2017 at Wadena Community Church, Wadena, Iowa with Pastor Rusty Phillips at the Officiant. There will be a one hour visitation before services at the church on Saturday.
Inurnment will follow at Cass Township, Strawberry Point, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Elgin, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.