Clair Bernard Olson

Clair Bernard Olson was born Nov. 1, 1920, in New Sweden, Minnesota. He was the third of six sons born to Mr. and Mrs. Ole Olson.

As a boy, Clair worked on his family’s farm. In 1938, he began working for the J.C. Penney Co. in St. Peter, Minnesota. His career would be briefly interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy, when he enlisted in 1944. He was trained as a radar operator and spent most of his wartime service aboard heavy cruisers, including the USS Baltimore, the USS Quincy and the USS Boston, all in the Pacific. He was involved in campaigns in the Philippines, the South China Sea, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. He was aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed on Sept. 2, 1945.

Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, Clair resumed his career with the J.C. Penney Co., where he would work at various locations over the next 42 years. 

In 1980, Clair retired with his wife to Sun City West, Arizona. The couple later lived in Sky Valley and then made a final move to Alpharetta. During his retirement years, Clair continued his philanthropy with Rotary, Service Corps of Retired Executives, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, as well as writing and publishing two autobiographies.

Clair was preceded in death by his wife, Esther Pearl Heglund Olson, his parents, Nora and Ole Olson, his brothers, Kenneth, Donald, Verne, Mahlon and Willis, and a granddaughter, Christina Pearl Olson Tredway.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Arlene Olson of Duluth, two granddaughters, Jennifer Bradley of Atlanta and Rebecca Flynn of Duluth. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Alice Olson of St. Peter, seven great-grandchildren and four great-nephews.

A visitation was held Friday, April 1, 2016, at 10 a.m. with a funeral service following at 11 a.m.at Norseland Lutheran Church, 37777 State Highway 22, St. Peter. The Rev. Craig Ferkenstad will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to Norseland Lutheran Church, 37777 Highway 22, St. Peter, Minnesota, 56082.

The Clayton Tribune, April 7, 2016

The Clayton Tribune

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