A remarkable woman has left us. Gertrude Eleanor Olson died November 9th 2022 at home surrounded by her family. She was born in Lindsborg, KS on May 24, 1920 to Alma and Jack Byrn. After attending Bethany College she taught in a one room school. On June 14, 1941 she married her High School sweetheart, Erwin Olson, and began a life of great adventure. Together they had three children, Brenda, Charles and Kent. Never one to be left behind, she learned to ski in the Rocky Mountains, played golf and tennis, hiked and camped, and loved to hunt and fish. She was also an avid bridge player well past 100. Always an impeccable dresser, she had a separate wardrobe for each of these activities. She sat at her dressing table and “put on her face” every morning until shortly before her death.
The great passion of her life was music. She was the concertmistress of the Mid Kansas Orchestra for many years and also taught students in her home. After their son died in 1968, Gertrude and Erwin established the Charles Olson Memorial Fund to help students afford music lessons.
Gertrude was very active in her church, Salem United Methodist, and the community. She belonged to a number of organizations and was named Newton's Woman of the Year. Her love of travel began when Erwin was stationed in England with the Air Force in 1952. Together they explored the world. Her only unfulfilled destination was Egypt where she wanted to float on the Nile. No doubt she is doing that now.
Gertrude is survived by her children: Brenda (Tom) Covert of Nathrop, CO, Kent (Cornelia Krahn) Olson of Boulder, CO, grandchildren Brian (Nenita) Covert, Jill Koshiol, Katherine (Jason Rogers) Olson, Andrew (Emily Hedges) Olson and two great grandchildren Jack and Eleanor Rogers.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 75 years, Erwin, her son Charles, her parents and siblings.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Charles Olson Memorial Fund through the Central Kansas Community Foundation.
Memorial services will be held Saturday January 14, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Salem United Methodist in Newton.
Arrangements by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.