Bob Gene “Little Brother” Olson Sr., a Harbor resident for nearly all his life, died at Grays Harbor Community Hospital, Aberdeen, Sunday, Sept.13, 2020. He was 78, born July 1, 1942, in Wilmot, South Dakota, the son of Thorwald Alvin and Mary Neoma (Huff) Olson. The family came to Hoquiam but had returned to South Dakota several times. Bob graduated from Hoquiam High School in 1961. He remained on the Harbor to follow his life’s work.
Bob worked at Swanson’s Market while going to high school and after graduation worked at a fish market and at Blagen’s Lumber Mill in Hoquiam.
He met Karen Sue Williams and they married in Montesano, July 2, 1962, celebrating 58 years of marriage this last summer.
Bob went to work for Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. in the mid-1960s in the sawmill, then driving gravel trucks and log trucks before transferring to the Bay City Sort Yard in 1990. He drove the log stacker and worked the de-barker until he retired in 2000 after 36 years with Weyerhaeuser.
Since retiring he has led an active life. He enjoyed wood working, making chests, jewelry boxes, rockers and oak baby cradles for the grand and great- grandkids; clam digging and blackberry picking.
Bob was a member of the New Beginnings Open Bible Church for 45 years. He taught a new believer’s class, led Bible studies, preached, worked in Awana Children’s Club, and completed INSTE. He also was involved in home, hospital and nursing home visitation ministries. Bob served on the board of directors for many years and served as a church elder for more than 20 years. He was known as “Elder Bob” to all who knew him in the church. He was also known to many of the children in the church as “Grandpa Bob. With his woodworking skills he made repairs and remodeling of the church when needed. From time to time would preach at the Union Gospel Mission.
He loved his grand and great-grandkids, and it became a tradition for the foot and knee “horsey ride” for the new grands when they were able to participate.
When one grandson was deployed to Afghanistan, Bob began reading Psalm 91 out loud and prayed for his safety and return to the family. He continued this nightly for 10 years as a prayer of the entire family right to the time of his death.
Bob is survived by his wife, Karen, at their new home in Aberdeen; two sons: Duane Robert (Wendy) Olson, Wishkah Valley and Bob Gene (Toni) Olson Jr., Cosmopolis; three daughters: Julie Ann (Tim) Orrin, Aberdeen, Teresa Lynn (Donald) Simpson, Aberdeen and Shelly Sue (Lonnie) Walker, Hoquiam; a brother, Alvin “Big Brother” Olson, Hoquiam; 23 grandchildren and 11 great -grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Leo Ray Huff and three sisters: Bernice Blood, Betty Kirner and Luella Schultz.
Visitation will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, in the chapel at Fern Hill Funeral Home.
A graveside service will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, in Forest Hill Cemetery, Cosmopolis.
A card of condolence with a message or a memory may be sent to the family at www.fernhillfuneral.com
Arrangements are entrusted to Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home, 2208 Roosevelt St., Aberdeen.