Oscar Marshall Olson, 100, of Pittsfield, MA, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, October 8, 2020.
Known to many as Ozzie, he was born March 8, 1920 on the family farm in Garland, ME to John and Gertrude Olson. He attended school in Garland, in a one-room schoolhouse at a time when the boys pumped the water and carried in the wood to feed the stove. Later he graduated from Garland High School and FDR's National Youth Administration Training Center at Fay & Scott Co. in Dexter, ME where he trained as a toolmaker. He and his friend and fellow graduate George Lovejoy were sent to work at the Pittsfield Works of GE in 1942, coming to town on a steam train.
When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the US Navy and served aboard the USS Alcore, a tender and repair ship in the Pacific Theater as an Optical Artificer First Class and was honorably discharged in 1946. Before shipping out, he trained at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in optic science and went on to the Henry Ford Training School in Detroit. Ozzie recalled upon graduation in Detroit, Henry Ford himself addressed the sailors and said that during their training he had "wished to pay them the same wages as his regular employees, but the Navy forbade it." But they did allow him to treat the sailors to a trip on the River Rouge on his personal yacht.
Ozzie retired from GE in 1983 with 41 years of service in the model shop. He was skillful and creative, producing all manner of models and specialized equipment. He was assigned to make a replica of the first alternating current transformer developed by the inventor William Stanley, which is now on permanent display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.
After the war, Ozzie married the former Carolyn Washburn on August 3, 1947 in Dover-Foxcroft, ME before settling in Pittsfield. A true family man, Ozzie loved the time they spent together at their cottage on Sebec Lake in Maine. In their 40 years of visits to the cottage, he and Carolyn hosted countless family gatherings on the lake where he loved to sail his boat. Together, they also loved square-dancing and to travel both stateside and internationally. They even chaperoned several high school music trips to Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and England.
Oscar was a member of Trinity Methodist Church of Pittsfield where he served in many capacities, including the building committee for the then newly merged United Methodist Church of Lenox, and retired as Honorary Trustee. In addition, Ozzie was a 73-year member of the Masons, Parian Masonic Lodge #160 AF&AM, Corinna, ME.
Ozzie was proud of his Swedish heritage and remained in regular contact with his many cousins in Sweden up until his passing. His father John emigrated to the town of New Sweden, ME from Nordmaling, Sweden where he married Gertrude Pierson, born of Swedish parents.
Ozzie is survived by his wife Carolyn, two sons, Carl (Nancy) Olson and Chet Olson; grandchildren, Brenda Olson Durant (Dan O'Brien), Keith Olson, Alicia Olson (Adam Douglass), Anders Olson (Corrine), Michael Sayers, William Sayers (Sarah) and eight great-grandchildren. He also leaves many other cousins and relatives, including his sister-in-law Mabel Olson. He was pre-deceased by his brother, Frederick Olson and his sister Ingrid Olson Clark.
SERVICES: A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 18th at 11:20AM at the United Methodist Church of Lenox, 6 Holmes Road with Pastor Nami Yu officiating.
Anyone who is unable to attend the service in person is still invited to join via Zoom. The link to access the meeting is: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/5827712073
The Meeting Password is: 298223
Burial with military honors will take place next summer in Garland Cemetery, Garland, ME.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ozzie's memory may be made to: United Methodist Church of Lenox, The Masonic Grand Lodge of Maine, or the New Sweden, Maine Historical Society, in care of the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home, 40 Maplewood Ave. Pittsfield, MA 01201.
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