Joan Olson

Obituary of Joan Ruth Olson

Joan Ruth Olson met her Lord on Easter after a long journey with dementia. She was born on Dec 30, 1927 in Minneapolis to Hans Jorgensen and Magda Sara Scott Jorgensen and died in Milwaukee on Mar 31, 2024. She and Dwain Marvin Olson married in Minneapolis on Dec 18, 1948. Afterwards, they continued their education with Joan earning a BA from the University of Dubuque and Dwain entering seminary. After ordination, Dwain and Joan served churches in Omaha, Middleton (WI) and Waukesha.


In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Joan was a preschool teacher and taught many youngsters in Waukesha. After retirement, she worked in prison ministry starting with teaching reading at the county jail and eventually creating an easy-reading newsletter which she mailed to over 200 inmates every month. She regularly visited those who were in prison and encouraged others to get involved. 


She and Dwain also enjoyed traveling, going on many Elderhostel trips, birding, and visiting friends and family all over the world. Joan’s soprano joined in with many choirs over the years and she always had a song in her heart and a laugh on her lips even until the end.


She is survived by their children: Daniel Dwain (Rev. Bonnie), David Ross (Debora), Jillayne Louise Arena (David) and Joni Marie; their grandchildren: Dr. Joseph Andrew Arena (Jennifer Brown), Dr. Carolyn Marie Arena (Dr. Matthew Merguerian), Elizabeth Rae Swartz (Luke), Andrew George Olson, Julia Kristine Olson, Katherine Burns Olson (Craig Wenzel), Douglas Edward Olson (Jacquelyn Bickle) and Emily Frances Olson (Dr. Ryan Measel); and Great grandchildren: Theo, Jacob, Adam, Rose, Hugh, John (Jack) and Henry.


Joan’s ashes will be brought to Minneapolis for burial. Memorials welcome to the charity of your choice. By His Grace, Joan was able to do many good things in her life, but she always knew that His Grace was sufficient.


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