Cover photo for Dr. Walter R. Olson's Obituary
1924 Dr. 2023

Dr. Walter R. Olson

November 25, 1924 — July 7, 2023



Dr. Walter R. Olson, M.D., F.A.C.S., age 98, of Munising, died Friday morning, July 7, 2023 at his home under the loving care of his family.  He was born to the late Ernest and Else (Nygaard) Olson on November 25, 1924 in a small upper bedroom of his Aunt Marg’s farm house in Isabel Township, North Dakota.  His early years were spent on a wheat farm near Esmond, North Dakota. His Father passed away when he was 5 years old.  He finished grade school in North Dakota then his mother relocated to Holly, Michigan to be closer to relatives and to provide her sons the education Ernest had requested before his death.  He attended Adelphian Academy and then graduated from Holly High School.  Walt entered into the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in WWII in both the European and Pacific Theater of Operations with the 596th Ambulance Company.  He was honorably discharged in 1946 as a Sergeant and was awarded the Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon, E.A.M.E. Ribbon with 2 bronze battle stars, A.P. Ribbon, 2 Overseas Service Bars, and the Good Conduct Medal.  While in college in Berrien Springs, Michigan Walter met Shirley N. Denney in their chemistry class.  On December 21, 1952 in Glendale, California, the two were married and together they raised their family.  Walter began his pre-med education at Emmanuel Missionary College which later became Andrews University.  Dr. Olson attended med school at the College of Medical Evangelists now known as Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA.  His surgical residency training took place at McLaren Hospital in Flint, Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital in Detroit and William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.  Dr. Olson began his practice in Munising in 1956 opening next to the Falling Rock Café.  Dr. Olson served alongside Dr. Don Fahrbach and Dr. Gene Hildebrand early on in his career and his final years working alongside his sons Dr. Mark and Dr. Kurt Olson.  Medicine was his life, Dr. Olson served our community for over forty-seven years assisting patients in family medicine, emergency room care, general surgery, and delivering countless children.  He retired in 2004 at the age of 79.  He was a faithful member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and enjoyed Bible studies and serving his community and church.  He also enjoyed mowing his lawn and blowing snow from his driveway, jobs he continued to do into his 90’s.

He is survived by his wife – Shirley Olson of Munising; sons and daughters-in-law – Dr. Mark and Rosie Olson and Dr. Kurt and Rondi Olson; grandchildren – Steven, Natalie, Emily, Eric, Karl, Ryan, and Elizabeth.  Walter was preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Else and brother Roy.

A memorial service will be on Saturday, July 22, 2023 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Munising at 1:30 p.m., with visiting time with family to follow the service.  Interment will be on Sunday, July 23, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. at Maple Grove Cemetery where the American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guards will conduct military honors.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Walter R. Olson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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