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Carolyn Grace Olson

September 18, 1926 ~ January 19, 2022 (age 95)


Mrs. Carolyn Grace (Washburn) Olson, age 95, of Pittsfield passed away peacefully at home on January 19, 2022, with her sons by her side. She was born in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine on September 18, 1926, the daughter of the late Fred and Hattie (Johnson) Washburn. She attended the local schools and was a 1945 graduate of Foxcroft Academy.

Known as Cal or Aunt KK by the rest of the family, Carolyn married her husband Oscar September 9, 1947, and settled in Pittsfield.  She was initially employed at the former General Electric Company before founding the Olson Nursery School in 1963 with her best friend and neighbor Mrs. Ida Eccher. The school was started to serve the nearby Greenridge Park, Dalton neighborhood which did not have a kindergarten program at the time.  Over the 53 years of operation, the school prepared nearly 5,000 preschoolers for their next twelve years of education, many going on to become professionals and corporate leaders with fond memories of the school. As one elementary school principal remarked later: “we can always tell which children attended Mrs. Olson’s nursery school. They are so well prepared!”

Carolyn grew up in a family of eight children and enjoyed her status as the youngest until her baby brother Richard came along at age twelve.  Family was always at the center of her life, with every holiday and vacation celebrated with one sibling or another.  Summers were spent at their cottage on Sebec Lake in Dover-Foxcroft where days were filled with water sports, card playing, and visiting friends and family around the lake.  Card playing was always for fun, and she was even playing cards with her family the night before she passed away- winning all 8 rounds!

Cal & Ozzie loved to travel. They chaperoned many high school music trips with Mort and Elsbet Wayne, visiting Holland, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and England. They also visited Ozzie’s Swedish cousins throughout Sweden and hosted them here in the Berkshires on many occasions. 

Carolyn was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Lenox faithfully supporting its many activities for seventy years. She enjoyed square dancing, knitting and all kinds of crafts with her late friend Marge Stowers.  Carolyn’s beloved husband, Ozzie, died October 8, 2020.  In addition to her husband, Carolyn was predeceased by six siblings.  She is survived by her sons, Carl Olson and his wife Nancy of Pittsfield and Chester “Chet” Olson of Littleton, MA, and her brother, Dr. Richard Washburn of Tacoma, WA. Carolyn also leaves her grandchildren, Brenda (Dan), Keith (Jen), Alicia (Adam), and Anders (Corrine), 4 great-grandchildren, Alexis, Adrian, Aiden and Avery, and many nieces, nephews and extended family members who will all miss her dearly.

SERVICES: A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church of Lenox when it is safer to gather.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made payable to the United Methodist Church of Lenox, 6 Holmes Road Lenox or Dover- Foxcroft Congregational Church, and mailed to the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home at 40 Maplewood Ave. Pittsfield, MA 01201


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