A wonderful human has left us but his joy for living remains within us.
Palmer “Ted” Olson passed on May 1, 2021 at the age of 79. His one true wish at the end of his life was to be able to spend his last few days at home watching the love of his life, Linda, work in the garden and spend time together. That wish was fulfilled.
Ted was born on March 24 in Flushing, New York to Palmer and Anna Olson. They moved to Long Beach, California in 1948. There Ted buddied with two pals “The Three Chipmunks” and spent his days as a “Free Range Kid.” At the age of twelve, he was hit by a car while crossing the street on his bike, breaking most of his leg bones. Last rites were given to him in the hospital and again later in his recovery. Although the doctors cautioned that he might never walk again, he returned to bowling and as an adult earned a championship ring.
His sister Judith, younger by 10 years, recalls that Ted also had a fascination for airplanes. He eventually joined an on-line group that did flight simulations.
Ted graduated from Long Beach CC and UCLA. Upon graduation from UCLA the Army got his body but not his soul. He enlisted and was sent to Vicenza, Italy and assigned a Company Clerk position. Ted considered himself lucky because he was able to travel to some great places in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on NATO related assignments and managed to stay out of trouble during his time in the service. He received awards for marksmanship.
After finishing his term of service he met and married Norma Armandariz. They moved to St.Helens, OR. where they had two children, Brian and Meredith. Ted was an active father who took kids to swim meets and on camping trips. Meredith passed away in 1993. Ted opened a tax and accounting business which was his life-long career. Norma ran one of their two offices until her death in 2004.
Ted met Linda Nelson in 2005 and they remained in a committed relationship. Together they traveled to many places far and near, beginning with a Rotary Club convention in Copenhagen. Weekend get-aways and camping trips were a constant source of enjoyment. Thanks to Linda, Ted’s health was improved through his practice of Yoga, led by Linda. They also have a great circle of friends with whom they enjoyed music, theater, and just getting together. “Life is great and it just keeps getting better. The journey is best with a great partner, family, friends and giving back” is a sentiment Ted shared. Here is a glimpse into what Linda saw in Ted, ” Always a welcoming smile. A Gracious and kind man, generous and wise. Completely engaged in whatever he was doing. Playful, a generous protector. His love was endearing. He added touches of serenity to my life!”
It is with deep sadness that I share with friends who knew Ted Olson, Linda Nelson’s partner of many years, his death which occurred yesterday (Saturday, May 1, 2021). He went peacefully after weeks of struggling to breathe from an incurable condition. (Not Covid.) I’m still trying to process this news but my thoughts are with him praying for great ease and peace in his transition, and the loved ones he’s left behind, especially Linda. May they too know peace in the love they shared with him and be comforted in the memories of his laughter and joy, his kind, gentle demeanor, his heart/mind, that so inspired us all. Heartfelt condolences to them.