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Posted on April 28, 2016 | 7:05 a.m.

Richard Fay Olson, 1935-2016

Source: Kim Clark

Richard Fay Olson

Richard Fay Olson, a retired teacher and travel agent, passed away April 11, 2016, at his home in Palm Desert, CA. He was 81.

Richard was born Jan. 8, 1935, in Los Angeles, CA. He attended Brown Military Academy, graduating in 1951, and served in the U.S. Army.

He received his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1957, majoring in speech-English, and received his master’s degree in education from USC in 1963.

Uncle Richard, as he was fondly known, was an English literature teacher for many years in the Los Angeles Unified School District. His wife, Dolores Jean Olson, was also a teacher, and their love of education and children was very strong.

Although they never had children, they hosted many foreign-exchange students while staying in their summer home at Lake Arrowhead every season from June through October since 1964.

Richard was also an active member of Big Brothers of America, and mentored many young adults throughout the years.

Richard was an avid water skier, and taught many family members and friends how to ski during summers at the lake. Many of his favorite memories were of Lake Arrowhead, entertaining friends and family at the dock.

After Richard retired from teaching, he became a travel agent for Sunshine Travel & Cruise in Palm Desert. He was a world traveler and had many friends across the globe.

Richard’s grandfather, Culbert Olson, served as governor of California from 1939 until 1943. Richard and his parents, Richard and Adelle Olson, and his sister, Delilah Makature, resided in the governor’s mansion in Sacramento, CA, for a few years while his grandfather was in office.

Uncle Richard and his niece, Kim Clark of Santa Barbara

Richard is survived by his partner, Sam Phetphoang Olson, who was his loyal companion for many years; and nieces Kim Clark of Santa Barbara and Laura Qose of Huntington Beach.

His wife, Dolores, preceded him in death on Jan. 4, 2007.

A memorial gathering in his honor will be held at noon on Saturday, April 30, at the Unitarian Universal Church of the Desert, 72425 Vía Vail in Rancho Mirage.

He was cremated and will be interred, next to his wife, on Monday, May 2, at 8:30 a.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 69855 Ramon Road, Cathedral City.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.


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