Dorothy Lou Nowell Olsen, passed away at home in Providence, Utah on October 1, 2021, at the age of 91. She was born in Tacoma Park, Maryland on July 19, 1930, to Reynolds Erwin Nowell and Hannah Cannell. As a child she grew up and lived around a small lake where her family would swim in the summer and ice skate in the winter. She became a lifelong swimmer. She loved to play the piano and was an accomplished pianist who won many awards during her younger years. During high school, she enjoyed many activities including, playing field hockey.
She attended Utah State University and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. She competed on the university debate team. She met her true love Wallace Dean Olsen at USU and they were married in the Logan Temple in November 1951. They started their family and bought their first home in Providence Utah. Her mother taught her to sew at a young age and she sewed some of her own clothing. From that start Dorothy became a talented seamstress, sewing many things including clothes for all her children and draperies, which were sold at JCPenney. For about 10 years she made nylon bee suits for bee keepers and sold them worldwide.
Dorothy was an experienced gardener and enjoyed the process of planting, growing, harvesting, and canning food for her family and friends. She loved fresh produce from her garden especially tomatoes, beans and squash. She loved flowers, especially sunflowers, and kept the tradition of her parents in keeping a wonderful flower garden. Birds dined at her bird feeders for years.
She and Wallace remodeled and expanded their home and owned many rental homes to help financially support the family and pay for their children’s mission expenses. Turning her interest from real estate, Dorothy created a family crafting business called “Olsen’s thing-a-ma-jigs” and involved her young children in these activities. Dorothy had a legendary knack and love of creating beautiful things out of items that cost very little and turning them into a unique gift. Instead of throwing things out she would make something to sell or use. In addition, she created silk flower arrangements for all occasions including weddings, Mother’s Day, etc. She moved the business into one of her rental homes where she sold flowers, many craft items and then attended many craft fairs selling her creations.
She evolved her gift shop into a quilt business. She traveled all over the region teaching quilting classes to hundreds of women how to sew and make quilts. She found great joy in helping others create. Dorothy grew the business to the point where she needed more room and Wallace built her a home next door, where she ultimately moved and expanded the thriving business. For over 30 years, she was able to maintain a strong business that supported her and her family. Throughout the years, many of her grandchildren worked there. She always said that “everyone should have a warm quilt to wrap up in”. This led to the donation of hundreds of quits to many causes. Her shop was fully stocked with crafts, fabric and everything kind of quilt. She was the main source for boondoggle for children of all ages.
She had a very strong testimony of Jesus Christ and lived the gospel the best way possible, which was by her example of treating others with respect and love. Dorothy served in many positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in presidencies, teaching callings, and one of her favorites was nursery leader. She was an active scouter and received her ten-year pin and the distinguished service award, a Silver Beaver.
Dorothy loved to stay home with her family instead of traveling. She loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren very much. She always wanted to have big family parties and she insisted in bring the water guns and starting the water fight. Her Easter egg hunt was epic. She was always sincerely interested in people, their families and their lives. She would rather listen to others than talk about herself. She loved life and encouraged others to find joy.
Dorothy faced health challenges later in life with courage, patience, gratitude, and tenderness. She was very grateful for all those who prayed for her, came to see her and helped her with her medical needs. The family would like to thank the medical professionals who gave such kind and supportive care.
She will be missed and leaves a legacy for all of us that knew her.
She was preceded in death by her husband Wallace, daughter Suzanne, son Brent, daughter in-law Cindy (Bob), and her parents, sister Pat (Jordan Tanner), and brother Jim (Terry). She is survived by children David (LaRue), Bob, Don, Brian, Paula (Tom), Becky (Andy), Janette, and 21 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Friday, October 8th at 1:00 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church building at 309 South Main in Providence, UT. The family will hold a visitation from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. prior to the funeral at the church.
Services will be livestreamed and may be viewed online via the following link:
If you were not able to view the funeral live, then you may access a recording of it by clicking on the following link: