OCEAN PARK — Carol Margaret (Nelson) Olsen, 84, of Chinook, died Nov. 27, 2014, at Golden Sands Senior Community in Ocean Park after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. Carol was born on Dec. 27, 1929, in Albert Lea, Minn., to Arnold and Agnes (Smeby) Nelson. When she was 12 years old, Carol’s mother passed away and she and her younger brother, David, eventually relocated with their father and stepmother in Seattle.
Carol graduated from Franklin High School in Seattle in 1949, where she was popular with her classmates and performed in school musicals. During and after high school, Carol worked as a nanny with two different families in Seattle and remained lifelong friends with the children she cared for. She was working as an elevator operator in Seattle in the early 1950s when she met Daniel Olsen of Chinook. After their first brief introduction by a mutual friend in Seattle, Dan returned to Chinook and told his mother he had met the woman he was going to marry. Indeed, the romance blossomed and on Sept. 10, 1952, the couple was married in Longview. They were married for 62 years and had three children.
Once married, Carol devoted herself as a full-time homemaker and spent years working as a bookkeeper and “chief financial officer” in Dan’s commercial fishing business. Carol was an active member of Chinook Lutheran Church, and she volunteered her time in community activities, including several years organizing the Ilwaco High School graduation night party and driving dignitaries in Loyalty Day parades. For many years before and after retirement, Carol and Dan were active “snowbirds,” traveling for months at a time throughout southern California in their motor home. One year they caravanned through Mexico to Guatemala before returning to the U.S.
Carol was preceded in death by her son, Clark, who drowned at age 14, and her daughter, Diane, who died in an automobile accident at age 28. Despite these personal tragedies, Carol radiated a positive outlook, laughed easily and heartily, and enjoyed singing, dancing, and sharing her joy and love of life with family and friends.
Carol is survived by her husband Dan; her son Chris and grandchildren Olivia, Carly and Schuyler of Valencia, Calif.; two sisters, Phyllis Haaland and Helene Westrum of Minnesota; a brother, Paul Nelson of Michigan; and countless friends and extended family members.
A memorial service was held at Chinook Lutheran Church on Nov. 29.