Whitman County Gazette 

Edward Franklin Olson

Oct. 22, 1933 - Feb. 26, 2024

Edward Franklin Olson

Edward Franklin Olson

Edward Franklin Olson, peacefully departed this life at the age of 90 on Monday, February 26, 2024, surrounded by his loving family in the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Kerri and David Weitz.

Ed was born on October 22, 1933, in Colfax, Washington, to Rudolph and Irene Olson. He was the eldest of seven children, preceded in death by his parents and siblings Mel, Bob, Dick, Ron, and Bonnie.

Survived by; Janice Olson, wife of 67 years, sister, Debra Allen, Sons Edward (Colleen) Olson of Meridian, Idaho, Steve Olson of Colfax, Dave (Shelly) Olson of Simi Valley, Calif., and daughter, Kerri (David) Weitz of Colfax. Five grandsons, five granddaughters, 15 great-grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces.

A proud graduate of Colfax High School, Ed was known for his academic excellence and prowess in sports, particularly boxing, baseball, and golf. His talents led him to Washington State College in Pullman on a full athletic scholarship in boxing, where he became the Pacific Coast Boxing Champion in the 125lb. weight class in 1954 and 1955. He also excelled academically, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. As an ROTC cadet, Ed was recognized for his commitment to service and leadership by his prestigious honor of receiving the Scabbard and Blade membership, a college military honor society.

In his freshman year at Washington State College, Ed made a profound commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, considering it the most important decision he had ever made. This commitment remained unwavering throughout his lifetime. Towards the end of his college years he met Janice Luce, the love of his life. Ed would run back and forth on foot from Pullman to Albion to see Janice, not having a car of his own. In 1956, they were married and together they built a home filled with faith and love, raising four children: Eddie, Steve, David and Kerri.

Throughout his career as an educator and coach, spanning from 1957 to 1995, Ed impacted the lives of countless students and athletes at Jennings Elementary in Colfax. Ed had a deep passion for mentoring and motivating athletes, aiming to unveil their potential and push them beyond their perceived limits. His impact played a pivotal role in shaping the Colfax Junior High Wrestling Program. Jack McBride began the Ed Olson Wrestling Clinic in 2022. It brought in 55 wrestlers from surrounding towns the first year. Instructors included; Tony Byrne, Casey Jones, Bob Hickman, and Albert Starrett. The family sincerely thanks them for honoring him in this way.

Despite his busy schedule, Ed found time to further his education, earning a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from WSC, and serve his country in the United States Army Reserve completing all training required to be a commissioned officer with the rank of captain in the Army Corps of Engineers. His Army service was from 1957 until he received his Honorable Discharge July 12, 1968.

Golf was a huge part of Ed's life from his childhood to his retirement years. He helped construct the watering system and worked as the greenskeeper for many years during his summer break from teaching. He shared his love for the game with family and friends. He was an excellent teacher to someone new to the game or someone just needing to improve their swing. His passion for the game resulted in nine club championships, seven Whitman County championships, three Colfax Open Championships, four Senior Club Championships and five remarkable hole-in-ones and was the high school golf coach for many years. He had fond memories of rounds he played with notable figures like Buck Bailey and Jack Friel.

In retirement, Ed continued to live out his faith through various ministries, including the Gideons and Jail Ministry. His desire was to share God's love with others and to bring hope to those in need.

Ed will be remembered for his generosity, his devotion to family and enthusiasm for preserving family history, his competitive spirit and desire to motivate others, and above all, his unwavering faith in God.

A memorial service honoring Ed's life will take place on Saturday, March 16th, at 2:00 pm at the Colfax Church of the Nazarene, followed by a reception at Jennings Elementary School, where he taught and coached for 39 years. The memorial service will be streamed. The link for that is: https://www.hdezwebcast.com/show/edward-f-olson

On-line guest book is at http://www.corbeillfuneralhomes.com

Edward Franklin Olson

Edward Franklin Olson

Corbeill Funeral Home in Colfax is in charge of the arrangements.


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