June Olson
June Olson
June Olson
June Olson
June Olson

Obituary of June Fay Olson

June, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend died April 4, 2024, after complications from a fall.  She was born on January 4, 1923, to Fred and Clara Schott in Snohomish, Washington.  June and her twin sister, Carol May (The Schott Twins) were the last surviving children.  The family was a large one; it was a family brought up in the love of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  June knew from a very young age that faith and love were the foundation of the home.  When the twins were only eight years old, their father died, leaving the family without an income.  Even though the future was uncertain, June’s mother reassured the children that their faith and hard work would see them through this difficult time.

The twins attended parochial school and went on to graduate from Snohomish High School.  While in school, June fell in love with Gil Olson and became engaged at 18.  Their marriage was delayed many years; Gil left the university to join the armed forces in service to his country during World War II.  June helped to maintain her mother’s home and drove the largest forklift loading ships in Seattle.  She prayed Gil would return safely home; Gil was wounded terribly and the men with him didn’t survive.  After a lengthy hospital stay, Gil was restored to health.  They were married shortly after he returned home.  The newlyweds settled upstairs at Mother Schott’s home on Avenue C in Snohomish.  Three children were born and the fourth was on the way when Gil was called up again to serve his country.  June was able to get a hardship discharge; the last child was born after he got back. 

Work took the family and Mother Schott to Bremerton for three years; they were members of the Memorial Lutheran Church.  In 1958, the family settled in Lacey, where June spent the remainder of her years.  They joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Olympia and were faithful attendees.  This move proved challenging because Gil’s business plans did not happen.  Not knowing how this would all sort itself out but trusting that it would, once again through prayer and hard work, they made it.  Their home was busy and orderly with so much activity and was open to relatives to come and stay when they had nowhere else to live.  Their belief in helping one another was as natural as breathing air. 

Over the years, June made it a point to stay in touch with both sides of the family and her many friends, visiting in person to let them know she cared about them.  She looked for ways to do something special when important dates came up in their lives.

            When the family started their own business, which required extensive daily travel, they had a second home in Vancouver, Washington, and attended Grace Lutheran Church.  From time to time, they stayed in Lacey if their business was further north.  For 20 years, June continued to make frequent trips to Lacey to visit and see her church family; June and Gil were charter members of Faith Lutheran Church.

When her oldest sister needed help and could no longer live by herself, June would drive back and forth every weekend from Vancouver to Seattle.  After a time, it was necessary to move her sister to Vancouver where June could more readily see to her needs.

June was very present in the grandchildren’s lives, taking them to fun places and on short trips.  For a period of time, she and sometimes Gil were daily caretakers of the two youngest grandchildren, taking them on walks to the park as toddlers and later to and from school.  The teachers and staff knew June and her red van.  June would sometimes take the children to what she referred to as a “picnic breakfast” at McDonald’s; they would eat in the van before going to school.

The family dissolved the business; June and Gil returned in 1999 to live in their Lacey home.  June would drive to Vancouver to see her children and grandchildren and to Spokane where some of the family had moved.  June was a devoted Bible student and began and ended each day in prayer and thanksgiving.  She wished her family and friends God’s blessings.

When June became older and needed a little help getting around, she didn’t hesitate to use a cane and later a walker.  If it was a beautiful day, you might catch sight of her in her red van getting coffee or out for a drive in the countryside.  She had weekly what she called “drive-bys” where she didn’t get out of her vehicle but drove to see her niece, Roxanne, and others.  She never tired of this activity.  When longer drives to see family and friends were no longer possible, she would ride shotgun with a family member.  She wrote cards and phoned often to keep in touch with family and friends.  Her neighbor of many years in Vancouver, Naoto Ilzuka (her Japanese son) of Tokyo was still in communication with her on her 101st birthday in January.

Gil passed in December 2010; Jeffrey passed in May 2011.  June leaves behind grandson, Christopher Olson of Vancouver; granddaughter, Tracy Olson Bevilacqua (Tony) of Vancouver; along with great-granddaughters, Jessica and Hanna Bevilacqua.  She is survived by her three daughters, Cheryle May Finnigan of Olympia, Stephanie June Olson of Vancouver, and Dian Lynn Olson Cogdill of Spokane; her granddaughter, Austin Lynn Mongan (Kyle), and great-granddaughter, Olivia June; and grandson, Gary R. Cogdill, also living in Spokane.  Though we grieve her, we know she is at peace and with her loved ones who have gone before her.

June had a special place in her heart for children.  She often said, “little people were so very interesting.” Please feel free to express your heartfelt condolences should you wish to do so by donating to Faith Lutheran School or to the charity of your choosing that represents your remembrance of her.

The family wants to thank the many family members and friends who were able to see her before she died and for the cards and calls supporting her hope for recovery.  June enjoyed all of it.  We would also like to thank the health-care professionals at Panorama C & R who cared for June during her final days.  They took such great care of her. 

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