Ellen Lynn Olson peacefully passed into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior on the morning of September 7, 2020 at home with her husband at her side.
Ellen was born in Viroqua, Wisconsin on December 22, 1936. She was the only child of Francis Robert Clark and Bessie Seime Clark. She grew up in small town, rural mid-America singing in church, school choirs, and at weddings about town. She graduated from Viroqua High School in 1954 on the cheerleading squad and capable of beating most boys at school if they cared to play a round of golf.
Ellen graduated from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota in 1958 with a B.A. in Music Education. She was a three-year member of the famed a cappella St. Olaf Choir during which time The Choir annually took month-long tours of various sections of the United States. Christmas 1956 and the Cold War found The Choir entertaining U.S. troops in Greenland.
Ellen married college sweetheart Clyde on August 17, 1958. Two weeks later they U-hauled their belongings to Baltimore, Maryland where they, over the next seven years, would finish his medical education at Johns Hopkins. Ellen’s music education career was shortened as the five Olson children began arriving, 4 in 5 years to be precise. She was to recall years later that “my twenties were just a blur”. Before coming to Savannah in 1969, the family would do Naval duty in Key West, Florida, more medical training in San Francisco, California, and university staff time in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Savannah saw the last child’s addition to the family and would be Ellen’s home for the remainder of her life. Ellen spent the early years as the guiding force of the Olson brood as they wound their way through secondary school and college educations. But her love of music brought her again to singing in church choirs at St. Paul’s and Messiah Lutheran Churches. She was active in the Savannah Symphony Women’s Guild and was its president one year. She was a member of a small group that created the annual Symphony Women’s Guild T.V. Auction which provided for years needed funds supporting The Orchestra. For 25 years Ellen arranged for the St. Olaf Choir to make a stop in Savannah during their southern tour of the United States. For many years she enjoyed employment and the camaraderie at the Savannah Sports Shop. She was a member of The Savannah Junior League. She enjoyed bridge with the girls for many years until dementia intervened.
Her life was a testament to an abiding love of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, family, friends and Savannah. This was done with quiet grace, without pomp or fanfare. A life beautifully lived and not soon forgotten.
Ellen was pre-deceased by her parents, Francis and Bessie Clark. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Clyde, sons Chris of Chicago and Scott of Savannah; daughters Hillary (Tim) Edwards, Savannah; Paige (Mike) Jardina, Atlanta; and Leslie (Robert) Hale, Savannah. Grandchildren Sydney Olson, Chicago; Margaret Jardina, Atlanta; Paige and Sam Edwards, Savannah; Riley Hale, Augusta, GA, and Victoria Hale Dostie, Jacksonville, FL.
The family would like to thank Chariese McCoy, Octavia Grant, and Kaiisha Williams at Your Choice Personnel Assistance for their loving care of Ellen during her illness.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Messiah Lutheran Church, 1 Westridge Rd., Savannah, GA 31411, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 10 W. 31st. St., Savannah, GA 31401, or the Humane Society for Greater Savannah, 7215 Sallie Mood Dr., Savannah, GA 31406.
My prayers are with The Olson family. She was always such a wonderful and warm personable lady to me. I will miss her and know that you will. May God God wrap his loving arms around you and bring His peace.
- Robyn Quattlebaum, Savannah , Ga
I was so sorry to read this in the paper this morning. Prayers Dr. Olson for you and your family especially Leslie who I had the pleasure of working with. May happy memories bring comfort.
- Cynthia L Heil, SAVANNAH, GA
I am so very sorry for your loss. I know that your mother will be greatly missed. My prayers are with the Olsen family.
- Sandra Sturgis Giddens , Jackson, MS
My deepest sympathies for Dr. Olson and his wonderful family. I have such great memories of spending time with The Olsons, when visiting Leslie during our time in college. Sending warm thoughts and prayers to the family during this time.
- Caroline Wylie, Phoenix, AZ
Dear Paige, Hillary and Family, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your sweet and beautiful mother. Prayers for God’s comfort during this sad time. What a happy and wonderful thought that we’ll all be together again one day! Love & prayers, Kathy
- Kathy (Wheeler) Engle, Mechanicsville , VA
Leslie and family ... so sorry for this heartbreak and loss ... I know she will be sorely missed by all of you. Sending love and prayers Suzy and Joe Casey
- Suzy Buelvas Casey, Prairie Grove , AR
Marv and I were friends of Bess so over the years we did meet Ellen and grandchildren. We are sorry for the loss of Ellen-- I am sure you have many wonderful memories.
- barbara McNeal, Viroqua, Wi. 54665
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- A Private Service Will Be Held