Dr. Robert J. Olson, 87, of Williston, passed away at the Saint Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck on Tuesday evening, November 6, 2018.
Bob was born September 21, 1931 at the Wildrose Hospital. He was the youngest of four children born to Joseph and Ruth (Gilbertson) Olson.
Bob attended grade school In Wildrose where he began his lifelong love of athletics, preferring sandlot football to piano lessons. Bob later moved with his family to Carpio where he graduated from High school in 1949. While in high school he earned All State honors as a key member of the 1948 North Dakota Class C Championship Basketball team.
After high school, Bob attended Jamestown College where he made the varsity as a freshman in football, basketball and baseball and went on to be a starter in basketball and baseball and earned 11 varsity letters. While attending college in Jamestown, he met his future wife, Eleanor Crosby. They were married on June 12, 1954.
He entered medical school at UND, Grand Forks, transferring for his final two years to University of Minnesota where he became interested in Radiology. He trained with the United States Public Heath Service in San Francisco and New Orleans, finishing in Bismarck where he joined Quain & Ramstad Clinic. They then moved to Williston in 1963 where he was the founder of Williston Radiology Consultants.
Bob had a strong work ethic and was a man of many talents. He treated everyone with kindness and compassion in his profession. He was a highly respected radiologist with many honors and achievements. But more importantly, he fiercely loved his family, his faith and Williston (and the Vikings, Tetons, Twins…).
He wrote this about his family: “Mom and I are very proud of (all) of you. There is no question that you all are the most important part of our lives.” Children and grand children observed his love of the land through hunting, fishing, birding, horseback riding and photography.
He made everyone feel they were his best friend.
He lived his deep faith daily, and although he understood that we are saved by grace through faith, he was strongly driven to good works throughout his life. “…the inescapable fact is that we are drawn closer to our God as we grow older”.
He was Williston’s greatest ambassador, receiving the Chamber’s inaugural Community Spirit award in 2009.
His life truly defined what it means to have had a life well lived, an example for all of us.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Joseph, his brother, Duane, sister Doreen. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Eleanor of Williston, his children, Michael (Pam) of Fargo, Robert Jr. (Kathy) of Fargo, Kathy of Williston, Jesse (Amy) of Madison and Jason (Lisa) of Minot. He is also survived by his sister, Meredythe (Ernie) Dornfeld. His grandchildren: James (Sher), Matthew (Rohini), Gabriel and Samuel, Margaret, Joseph and Katie and Paige and Nicholas (Brittany), Kayla (Chris), Christian. Five great grandchildren: Ishaan and Theodore, Thomas, Eleanor and Oliver. Many loving nieces, nephews and their families.