Our loving and gentle mother, Avis Kathryn (Rasmusson) Olson, passed away on December 20, 2022 at the age of 98. She was born and raised in the very tiny town of Osnabrock, North Dakota to parents Magda (Thompson) and Marvin Rasmusson on August 26, 1924. A spunky tomboy girl often called by the name of Kathy, she loved sports (especially basketball), music, education, hard work, and life growing up in a respectful, and close-knit Christian family.
After high school she attended Concordia College, and then ventured west to San Diego where she worked in banking. Returning to Osnabrock, she married her high school sweetheart, Stan Olson, in June of 1947. They eventually made Fergus Falls their permanent home and raised their children on East Alcott, and later in their new home on West Maple Avenue. Our parents were truly blessed to celebrate 62 years of marriage together until Dad’s passing in 2009.
Family and friends were of great importance to Avis, and in the early years she cherished time spent at home caring for her children and made many neighborhood friends. She excelled at sewing clothes for herself and family, and determinedly tackled many home projects including re-shingling the roof! Because of her heart's fondness for all children and in support of their education, she joyfully worked in both the FF Junior High School and McKinley Elementary until her retirement in 1989. Giving to others was also a priority and she energetically volunteered to read for the blind over the church radio, and she and Stan delivered many Meals on Wheels. As an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, she was a Sunday school teacher and belonged to the Ladies Aid, participating in serving at many church functions well into her 80’s.
Avis was very proud of her Norwegian heritage and loved making lefse for her family and the church bazaars. But you wouldn’t find a more patriotic citizen of the United States, her beloved homeland. She always had her kitchen’s coffee pot on the go, and she and Stan routinely went out to meet up with their friends for a cup or two in their retirement days. They also enjoyed bus trip excursions out of state, and made yearly jaunts to the west coast.
Avis was the last remaining in her family of four siblings including brothers Howard and James Rasmusson, and sisters Lois (Klai) and Geneva (Waind). She leaves behind her three children: Becky (Jim) Shaver, Victoria, BC; Barb (Greg) Ecker, Fergus Falls; and Jim (Jeanie Geisinger), Bismarck, ND. Along with four grandchildren: Jay (Nicole) Shaver and son, Dane; Julie Shaver; Eric (Libby) Ecker and children Ella and Eli; Stephanie (Jake) Francis and daughters, Kate and Maggie. Also surviving are brother-in-law, Roger (Carol) Olson, Kansas; and sister-in-law, Bonnie Rasmusson Henshaw, Florida; as well as many loved nieces and nephews.
Our family wishes to thank all her loving caregivers for the past many years at the Pioneer Heritage Memory Care Cottage, and the PioneerCare Center.
Please remember Avis in your hearts as you roll up your lefse or enjoy another cup of coffee! Private family service to be held at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan where she will be forever together with her beloved Stan.
Arrangements provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to