Tag Archives: family

Thinking about Mom, snorkelling at Starsand Beach in Guam

Pardon the terrible snapshot of a snapshot through glass but, this made me laugh and shows how intrepid Mom is/was. Here she is snorkelling at Star sand beach club where I toiled as a Japanese speaking club host… yes my job was to make sure people were having a good time on the beach all day and I was very good at it… Brother Anders and her came to visit one day and Mom jumped into all the activities with her usual bravado and enthusiasm.

#Mom #Lauralee #LoveYouForever

Obituary for my beloved Mother, Lauralee Elliott

While I am rather proud of this nice bit of copywriting: creative, concise and accurate, it’s something I wish I never had to write. #Lauralee #LoveYouForever

from Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNs2tDLhIJl/

My beloved heroic Mother. Love you forever. Devastated.

Annotations About Dad, Lorne H Olson

A wonderful day with Dad, perogies, cabbage rolls and a west end personal history walk.

Here’s to my Dad, Dr. Lorne H. Olson.

Born Winnipeg, 1941, raised Regina with Air Cadet forays to Vancouver, earned Bachelors at BYU “just there for the ladies”, first job in Port Arthur, Ontario YMCA (now part of Thunder Bay), earned Masters and Doctorate degrees at Oregon, then onto professorships at Michigan State and then University British Columbia in 1974.

Was then when we settled on 154th St. in Surrey. It was a dirt road then with plenty of woods around, and I walked with my plaid lunchbox to Harold Bishop elementary where I met people I still know today.

Then, in the 80s he became a real estate “king” of growing Surrey. His humble, noble face on bus boards throughout Newton, Whalley, Guilford.

Only those of us who knew about the accident that almost killed him could notice and trace the scars from 40+ stitches in his face that went out of the windshield and back in.

Some of my brothers and I, by this time lived elsewhere, due to the vagaries of marriage and divorce and moving. Yet, twice a year we would load up on suitably unsafe vehicle to come up to bond and hang out with our dad. It’s not unusual for teenage boys and their dads to not understand each other well, but we tried.

My brothers made him proud by doing the tasks expected of his beliefs, but me, I just kept going and going and wound myself up in messes and circumstances and situations which seem to just confuse him rather than excite him. But I was living – and I was not in Surrey.

Dozens of countries later, sequestered in Olympia, Washington, my extensive life resume lacked a few key letters which were antagonizingly close after four colleges and well over a decade, Dad and dear bonus mom Myrna stepped up and help me finish off my hard won Bachelor of Arts degree in Inter-disciplinary studies. Really, I dream of earning a Master of Fine Arts and a doctorate one day so I can take over his Dr. O license plates (despite the fact that I no longer drive).

We were all caught by surprise, he ate healthy, hadn’t had a alcoholic drink in 60 years or 50 anyway, didn’t smoke, frequently jogged, made kale smoothies with hemp nut, took infrared saunas…

So many good things and then in six weeks of frustration, confusion, occasional tears, misgivings and even arguments, The end came. No fireworks no lights from above no singing angels or earnest disciples from eons past to carry him away.

Just me, at 3:23am noticing the space between breaths had become impossibly long.

The doctor – or rather the home care nurse – told me: I must wait for five minutes and then we must wait for an hour as civilians, before we call the funeral home.

The non-resuscitation agreement, the “die at home” agreement, the funeral home pickup agreement was arranged.

Dad, I moved you from your side “drainage position”, lay you on your back which was now skin bones and a tumour — wiped the brown vile bile toxins from your face and tried to close your mouth.

I called in my dear stepmom Myrna, brothers Dan, James and Andrew — into the room & we stood, quiet. We knew our lives would never be the same.

The service was put together quickly and filled the church to the overflow area. Me and three more brothers spoke, told stories that none of these people understood about this dear old man. His challenges his struggles, his adolescence, the stuff he liked to do when he was just being Lorne. We made an audience laugh but it was mostly for our own good.

Afterwords in a dizzying array of small sandwiches and cookies, I was inundated with faces I hadn’t seen for 30 years and people I’ve never met told how Dad had impacted their lives so much — I could barely stand up or breathe.

Then there was a gravesite. No one seemed in charge, James blessed the grave, we sang a song, the workers lower the box and tidied the dirt and I just held onto my brothers for dear dear life.

I see him every day, and most days I cry, and so many times I want to pick up the phone and say “Dad I’m having a hard time” — i’m grateful for the times we spent together in the months leading up to the terrible news.

He was the healthy one of us then and we rambled through west end neighbourhood to his old houses where he stayed with namesake Uncle Lorne during sunny Vancouver summers at English Bay, (Incidentally Uncle Lorne was the long time maître d’ at the noted venue The Cave and often took the stage to sing with the Ink Spots or Sammy Davis (Sr.) though he used his pseudonym of Lloyd Hamilton instead of Lorne Head so his cufflinks still matched), to the Ukrainian deli where we ate cabbage rolls the size of our forearms. His picture is in the window of the Mapleleaf Deli on Burrard if you’re curious.

He told me before he died he was proud of me — and for being the “Black sheep” — that’s alright for me.

Origins of the Olsonboys

Originally published at Olsonboys.org circa 1999 — a site to share stories and culture of my family.

The Olsonboys trace their ancestry back to Norway where our surname was spelled Olsen. When grandfather Olaf left Norway at age 23 and arrived in Halifax the immigration people simply changed the spelling of his name.

The Olson family in Norway lived for at least the past 4-5 generations not far from Oslo the capital of Norway. The province is called Ostfold and the main place they lived was Sarpsborg. Locations named Tune, Skeberg, Gamlebyn and Helgebye are all in the same vicinity and are identified as places where births, marriages or deaths occurred.

Going back as far as we have on the patriarchal side it goes Mathias Olsen begat Ole Christian Mathisen who begat Thorvald Olsen who begat Olaf Olsen and a brother for Olaf named Harald. And Olaf begat a son Lorne Harold Olson on Dec. 1, 1941.

Lorne was raised primarily in Regina, Saskatchewan, attended Brigham Young University in Provo Utah and University of Oregon in Eugene. After marrying, he begat Robert Lorne Olaf Olson, David Aaron Thorvald Olson, Daniel Mark Mathias Olson, James William Christian Olson and Andrew Joseph Harald Olson.

The Mother of these Olsonboys is Lauralee Catherine Lucile Bannatyne Stevenson (Olson) now Elliott of Logan Utah. She was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Feb. 17, 1944, the daughter of Robert Louis Stevenson, the rambling salesman, business consultant and traveler and Isobel Steel Bannatyne, born in Aberdeen, Scotland now living resting near in Logan, Utah with many cats.