Gerald Ray Olson, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and friend left this world on January 15, 2023 at the age of 89 surrounded by his loving family.
Gerald, the eldest of four sons, was born on January 9, 1934, in Helper, Utah to Ray Jacob and Blanche Seely Olson. He and the love of his life, Effie Carolyn Brady Olson, were sealed for time and all eternity in the Manti Temple on July 23, 1954. They were blessed with nearly 69 years together. He built his life on the principles of faith, service and work. Through his example he taught his children to love the Lord, serve others, work hard, and live a life of integrity. His wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the gospel of Jesus Christ were his greatest joys.
Gerald believed there was dignity in work, learning a work ethic at the side of his father on a small productive dairy farm. He had fond memories of mowing hay with a team of horses, breaking and clearing rock on the family farm, milking and feeding their dairy herd, and sharing in the rigors of farm life. As a youth he enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding horses and showing dairy cattle. His stories of growing up with very little comforts always kept our attention, such as the two-seat outhouse where the toilet paper was for guests, and he was lucky to have the Sears, Roebuck catalog.
Gerald was the first of his family to attend college. He received his undergraduate degree from Utah State University, his masters degree from Colorado State University, and went on to gain his Doctorate in Adult/Community College Education from North Carolina State University. Through the early years of education and employment the family resided in Logan and Castle Dale, Utah, Fort Collins, Colorado, and Raleigh, North Carolina. They settled in North Logan, Utah.
He was employed by Utah State University in April of 1956 and when he retired was the Associate Vice President for Extension. Other positions held with USU include Assistant Cache County Agent, Emery County Agriculture Agent, Cache & Rich County Agriculture Agent, Coordinator Bear River Extension District and State Supervisor of Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Programs, Supervisor Utah 4-H Program and, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture & Extension Agriculture Program Leader.
Gerald consistently demonstrated love and passion for Utah State University. He honestly woke up every morning and was excited to go to work. He always said that Utah State gave him wonderful opportunities and that he benefited greatly from being there. He was always willing and eager to take on new and challenging assignments and assist those he worked with to become the best that they could be. Gerald loved people and would always go the extra mile to be there for them and help in any way that he could.
Gerald was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had a firm testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. He served in numerous callings which included Sunday School Teacher, Scoutmaster, Executive Secretary to two Bishoprics, Elders Quorum President, High Priest Group Leader, Stake Mission President and High Counselor. He and Carolyn found great joy in serving together as missionaries in the California San Francisco Mission and as ordinance workers in the Logan Temple.
Together, Gerald and Carolyn found happiness, joy and fulfillment spending time with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family, and dear friends. They also enjoyed theater, music, nature, reading, and gardening. They had the incredible opportunity to travel the world visiting every state in the union, nearly one hundred countries, and all seven continents. This provided special international friendships with people in countries around the world.
Gerald was a loyal friend, neighbor, and colleague. He was genuinely interested in others and looked for ways to bless their lives. As his mortal body tired, he valiantly pressed forward, but his spirit was never stronger. His legacy will live in our hearts forever.
He is preceded in death by his parents Ray and Blanche Olson. He is survived by his loving wife Carolyn, and children: David (Beverly), Kenneth (Kimlu), Steven (Camla), Carole (Shane Larson), Robert, 19 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at the North Logan Utah Green Canyon Stake Center located at: 1850 North 400 East, North Logan, Utah at 11:00 AM. A viewing will be held prior from 9:30-10:30 AM.
For those wishing to attend virtually, the service will be streamed live at 11:00 AM. The zoom link is:
It can also be accessed on the Allen Mortuaries website which is: allenmortuaries.com and then click on the Gerald Olson obituary to find the live stream.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Dr. Gerald Olson Outstanding 4-H and Youth Volunteer Recognition Endowment at Utah State University. The link for that is: