Richard “Dick” Ray Olson
After a long life of service to God, country and family, Dick Olson of Ephraim, passed away peacefully at his home with his dear wife and children by his side on December 22, 2023. Dick was born January 30, 1932 in Salt Lake City to Orson Ray and Ruth Hall Olson. In order to pay the $25 hospital bill, his father gambled 50 cents on a punch board and earned the exact amount owed. After two years living North of town in his great-grandfather's cabin, his parents moved their young family, which included his three sisters and two brothers, to Ephraim City. It was here, growing up in “Becky’s Alley”, that he developed lasting friendships and pride in his “Hage” family nickname. Dick learned the value of honesty and hard work while herding cows each day to the community pasture. He would walk several miles to the family farm, where he worked with his father and brothers.
Dick attended school in Ephraim, graduating from Snow High School in 1950 and Snow College in 1952. While attending Snow College, he was a part of their boxing, football, and track teams. In the fall of 1952 he was drafted into the US Army, and served honorably during the Korean conflict. While there, Dick was seriously wounded and awarded the Purple Heart medal. He was a true patriot who loved his country deeply. Following his return from Korea, he served a full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Africa. This provided an opportunity to deepen his testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and affected many lives for good. These two different experiences cultivated true compassion and a love for humanity.
Dick courted and married his sweetheart and companion, Norma Stubbs. They were sealed in the Manti Temple on July 3, 1958. After graduating from Utah State with a bachelor's degree in Agribusiness, Dick and Norma returned to Ephraim and bought his grandfather's home. They raised their 7 children in the same neighborhood where both he and Norma grew up. Dick and his brother Doug, purchased their third generation farm from their father, resulting in a very successful livestock and turkey operation. He loved teaching and sharing his love for hard work, nature and life with his children and grandchildren. Because of this, Dick is not only leaving an incredible legacy of resilience and devotion, but one of kindness, compassion and joy. Spending quality time in his beloved mountains with loved ones will be memories that are cherished forever.
He devoted his life in service to his community and profession. This included: Ephraim City Council, Snow College Board of Trustees and Institutional Council, Sanpete Valley Hospital Board, The Rotary Club, president of the Utah Turkey Marketing Board, Utah Air Quality Board and Production Credit Services Board of Directors. His church service included his calling as bishop of the Ephraim West Ward, a Seventy and High Council member. He highlighted his favorite calling as, “ward Young Men’s president” at the age of 75. Dick and Norma served together in the Manti Temple as ordinance workers and as church service missionaries at the Bishops Storehouse. Dick had an intense love for Ephraim and Sanpete Valley, in particular, camping and hunting on Hell Hole Ridge and skiing down the Bluebell slopes. Dick lived an exemplary life impacting countless lives for good. Outside of his love for the Savior, Dick’s greatest devotion was to his eternal sweetheart Norma. His love for her is unfailing.
Dick is survived by his wife Norma; children: Terry (Jolayne) Olson, Gary (Anne) Olson, Signe Gines, Mark (Cynthia) Olson, Denise (Juan) Martinez, Melissa (Erik) Knutzen, and Glen (AnnJeanette) Olson; 39 grandchildren, 60 great-grandchildren with one more expected in January; brother Glen (Nora) Olson; and sister Lois (Robert) Menlove. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother Doug; and sisters: Norma Christensen and Mary Jensen.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 29, 2023 at 11:00 am in the Ephraim 2nd Ward Chapel, 450 N 200 W. Viewings will be held at the church on Thursday, Dec 28 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. and also prior to services on Friday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Interment will be in the Ephraim Park Cemetery with military honors by the American Legion Post #31 and Utah Honor Guard. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook and live streaming of the services at www.maglebymortuary.com under Richard’s obituary.