Glenn Olsen, 95, of Atlantic, Iowa, was welcomed home by his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, at Heritage House in Atlantic.
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Glenn Robert Olsen was born February 1, 1924, on the family farm in Benton Township, northeast of Atlantic, Iowa. He was the first of four children to Johannes (John) Bernhardt and Anna Dorthea (Petersen) Olsen.
Glenn was baptized and confirmed in 1939, at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. He attended country school at the one-room, Benton #3 schoolhouse and was among the first class to graduate from the, then, new Atlantic High School in 1941. As a boy, his days started early, helping milk a dozen cows and feeding livestock before school. He relied on Spot, the pony, to get him and each of the Olsen children to school on time, as Spot would return home by himself to give each a ride to and from school, as well as deliver water to the school. He was a member of the Benton Future Farmer’s 4-H club, showing pigs and calves and had great memories of showing calves in Waterloo with his life-long friend, Fletcher Nichols. He was later a 4-H leader of the club and served on the Cass County Fair Board. On September 21, 1952, Glenn married the love of his life, Mary Ellen Dasher, at the Elliott Methodist Church. They farmed and raised their two children in Benton Township. Farming was his passion and life, and he marveled at how his generation saw so many changes in the agriculture industry. As a boy, he would harness a pair of his dad’s five work horses and walk behind the pulled equipment through fields; maybe working 10-12 acres was a good day. In late fall through winter, he would hand-pick ears of corn, often scraping his wrists raw from the iced snow on the dried leaves. Those days were physically challenging, but his dedication and faith were rewarded, as his farm increased and times advanced to see self-steering machines work his land.
Glenn was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Iowa Corn Growers, the Iowa Soybean Association, Farm Bureau, Cass Co. Cattlemen’s Association, the Atlantic Lion’s Club, and the Elk Horn Danish Brotherhood.
Glenn adored his grandkids and was quick to saddle up the ponies, play dominoes, or chuckle with them during “All in the Family” episodes. Glenn and Mary Ellen moved into Atlantic in 2001 to a beautiful spot with the convenience of town and the peacefulness of farm fields and wildlife in his back yard. He and Mary Ellen enjoyed years of playing pinochle with friends and took several world-wide trips. Their last and fondest trip abroad was in 2003, when they traveled through Europe, especially back to his heritage in Denmark to visit relatives. Even though their address changed to the Heritage House in 2015, Glenn’s heart was still in farming, and most of the time he could be found enjoying the farm channel, RFD-TV, checking grain markets and learning of new ag technologies to pass on to all who visited. Glenn was a gentle and patient man who lived his life with hope, loving the Lord, his family and all God’s creatures.
Those who preceded Glenn in passing were his wife of 65 years, Mary Ellen; parents. John and Anna Olsen; infant grandson, Jarod Olsen; brother and sister-in-law, G. Wayne and Phyllis Olsen; parents-in-law, Otis M. and Grace Dasher; brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Paul Williamson and Marc and Barb Dasher; sisters-in-law, Julianne Weber and Nancy McNeese; and nephew’s wife, Laura Olsen.
Left to cherish his memory are his son, Rick Olsen of Council Bluffs; daughter, Jean (Dave) Hansen of Atlantic, IA; grandchildren, Whitney (Kristina) Olsen of Mt. Vernon, IA and children Reece, Ava and Tryston; Shyler Olsen of Cedar Rapids, IA and children, Christopher and Kairi; Sarah Olsen of Red Oak, IA; Lyndsey (Justin) Shaw of Atlantic, IA and Cheyenne; Joel (Stacie) Hansen of Marne, IA and children, Matthew, Paisely and Jacob; Jayden Hansen and Jarrett Hansen both of Atlantic, IA; brother, Charles (Jane) Olsen of Leawood, KS; sister, Nadine Williamson of Wiota,IA; sisters-in-law, Mary Nichols Olsen of Marshalltown, IA and Jane Cook of Westport, Washington; brothers-in-law, Dr. Dale Weber of Camanche, IA, Dennis Dasher of Corning, IA and Randy McNeese of Lewis, IA; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 30, 2019, at, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with Pastor Steven Frock officiating. Burial will be in the Atlantic Cemetery.
Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday, beginning at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Atlantic or the Danish Museum of America in Elk Horn.
Roland Funeral Service is caring for Glenn’s family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.