Thomas Roger Olson, age 75, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by the love of his family. Tom was born on September 4, 1947, at St Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton to John and Alice (Lucassen) Olson. Tom grew up in Little Chute, where little Tom seldom got away with his deviant acts (the LC grapevine always ratted him out). He graduated from St John’s High School and proceeded to attain a bachelor’s degree from UW Oshkosh.
Tom married Karen Otte, on February 15, 1969, and the couple had three sons. Tom and Karen shared 54 years together, and this year, Tom made a special trip to Hughes Chocolates for some chocolate oysters and chocolate covered cherries for Karen. Tom wanted this last adventure to be extended, and nearly convinced his son to make “just one stop” before heading home. Across the years, Tom had “the two Gary’s” who were his chosen brothers if not biological.
Tom loved gardening and especially enjoyed the fruits of his labor over his tomato plants. His outdoor enjoyment also extended to birdwatching and of course, spending time outdoors watching his boys play sports, playing any sport that involved a ball (especially softball and golf), and attending sporting events. He was a great coach, and his patience shone through to “his kids” while he mentored them in their endeavors.
Tom was an educator at heart, and taught classes early in his professional life as well as near the end. IN between he spent time in the business world. Tom loved to travel, and he and Karen traveled the world with their sons and their families. There were adventures to visit all of the National Parks, Caribbean cruises, and quite simply LOVED to drive around the US. Tom was notorious for giving directions based on landmarks, and more often than not could return to a location after one visit.
Tom was a bargain hunter at heart and would often be found traveling across the Valley to “find the best deal” which he could then share with his family. Perhaps his need for adrenaline was fed through his pursuit of the deal, but he really loved anything that could scare him-white water rafting and riding roller coasters were among the top.
Tom’s legacy will be one of love, patience, compassion and encouragement to his family, friends, student athletes and students.
He is survived by his wife Karen, his sons: Eric (Marsha) and their children Madison and Brecken; Brad (Megan) and their children Sam, Max and Mary and Greg. He is further survived by his sisters and brother-in-law: Sandra (Dale), Shirley, and Tony as well as nieces and nephews from the Brejcha, Borchardt and Arnoldussen families. He is also survived by friends Gary (Dotty) Reybrock and Gary Hurst and families.
He is preceded in passing by his parents, brother-in-law Randy, sister-in-law Darlene. As well as good friend Betty Hurst.
A memorial service for Tom will take place Tuesday April 4, 2023, at 6:00pm at Emmanuel United Methodist Church 740 E College Ave, Appleton. Friends and family may gather at the church from 4:30pm until the start of the service.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established.