Roger O. Olson, Janesville (1944 - 2013)
August 12, 1944 - March 2, 2013
It began on a hot summer day in 1944, August 12th, to be exact; Roger (Lum) O. Olson was born to Lila and Orvin Olson in Soldiers Grove, WI. As a young man, Roger helped out on the family farm and attended a one room school house. He didn't even have indoor plumbing in his early childhood. When he was just 18 years old, he followed a girl named Charlotte Applebee to Janesville, where he spent the rest of his life. A few years later he married Charlotte and had a beautiful daughter, Tori Sue. His first job was at Adam's Furniture. Every day before work Roger would go sit and wait at General Motors for the man to come out and say they were not hiring. Finally after about four months, Roger stood there with 4-5 other guys and the man said "We're not hiring so don't come back." Roger's response was, "I'll see you tomorrow." The man said "Well bring your lunch pail and get a haircut." His persistence had paid off.
Roger ran into a fellow farm kid from Soldiers Grove, who told him about a job he had doing concrete foundation walls. He thought that would make a great side job so he started doing concrete work. He worked with Bob Kimball, Slatter Prebble and Joe Tracy to gain experience. Some years later he had two more wonderful children, Angela and Chad, with Sherry Sampson. In 1977, while married to Delcia Smith, Roger got together with a man named Ross Knox and started R & R Concrete. After 18 years of working at General Motors and doing concrete, he decided it was time to quit GM and focus on concrete. His business grew and grew, eventually adding more equipment, an excavation business and a construction company, R & R took off. Roger certainly knew how to work hard, but it was while he was married to Pamela Fass that he learned how to relax and enjoy himself. A few years later, Roger brought his Corvette into a detail shop and met the woman he would spend the rest of his life with, a young vivacious Betty Knilans. Throughout his time at R&R, he had a few setbacks, but one thing never changed; he continued to work hard and provide many homes and businesses with excellent concrete work. His nickname recently became "Overkill Olson". R & R was always a family run business, his son Chad, his wife, Betty, and his niece, Ruthy, to name a few called R & R their place of employment for many years.
Roger believed that everyone deserved a second chance and employed a lot of people who might not have had a chance elsewhere. They also welcomed many people into their home. It was a rare thing to find Betty and Roger alone, especially on the weekends. Their house was always full of their children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and friends; ice cream for breakfast was not out of the norm. Their house was home to many pool parties, graduation parties, family gatherings and, even, two weddings. Roger also enjoyed traveling in his motorhome to NASCAR Races and all around the country with family and friends. After a long hard battle with prostate cancer, his journey on earth finally came to an end. He passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2013, surrounded by his family.
Surviving Roger are his wife, Betty of Janesville; his children: Tori Sue Olson of Janesville, Angela Olson of Brodhead, and Chad (Amanda) Olson of Janesville; his beloved grandchildren: Ricky, Tiffany, Skyler, Jordan, Hannah, Paityn, and Levi; and a special little boy named, Nole; siblings: Sandra (Jerry) George of Gays Mills, David (Linda) Olson of Viroqua, Rick (Debra) Olson of Soldiers Grove, Randy (Donna) Olson of Stoughton, Kathy (Lance) Petro of Blanchardville, Nancy (Les) Folstead of Decorah, IA, Janie Olson of Soldiers Grove; many nieces and nephews; and a few great nieces and nephews. Roger was preceded in death by his parents.
Betty, along with Roger's children, are asking you to come and celebrate Roger's life, share stories and memories on Saturday March 9, 2013 at the BELOIT LIFE CENTER, 2170 Murphy Woods Rd., Beloit. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held at 4 p.m. with Rev. Matt Knilans officiating.
Whitcomb-Lynch Funeral Home & Cremation Services
21 S. Austin Rd., Janesville (608)752-2444