Ronald Olson

Ronald Mark Olson

August 9th, 1963 - January 9th, 2020
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Ronald Mark Olson went to spend eternity with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, January 9, 2020. He was 56 years old and passed away in Watertown, SD.

A Celebration of Ron’s life will be at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, January 25, 2020 at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Watertown with Pastor Luke Smith and Pastor Steve Anderson officiating.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, January 24, 2020 at Cornerstone United Methodist Church.

Burial will be at the Egeland Lutheran Cemetery, Egeland Township, SD.

Ron was born to Maurice and Mildred (Erickson) Olson in on August 9, 1963 in Webster, SD. The youngest of five, Ron grew up on the family farm south of Waubay where he and his wife, Renee, continued farming and raised 5 children of their own.

Ron and Renee were married in Watertown in 1986. The pair loved traveling and being at the lake where they spent every summer. Ron was actively involved in local and regional politics and farming advocacy groups serving as President of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, serving on the board of the National Corn Growers Association, and participating on the boards of many other area organizations. He and his family were also active at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Watertown where they worshiped.

Ron was never short of projects. Be it fixing up an antique tractor or creating a new farm implement, he enjoyed tinkering and finding unconventional ways to create or improve how things are done. His morning routine always began by spending time in God’s Word and he regularly connected with his close friends and neighbors over coffee before starting his days work. He loved hunting pheasants and deer each fall and could often be found at an auction looking for his next great deal.

Ron will be remembered as soft-spoken and light-hearted, spontaneous and always ready with a witty comment. He had a heart for others and was always willing to lend an ear or piece of advice to those in search of it. He rarely missed an opportunity to engage with those around him, and welcomed the opportunity to discuss his relationship with Jesus with those whom he encountered.

His children and grandchildren brought Ron tremendous joy. He spent as much time with his kids and grandkids as he could and took special interest in finding unique ways to connect with each of them. He loved his grandchildren very much and could often be found chasing them around, telling jokes, wrestling, or watching tractor videos online, which they could together do for hours on end. One of Ron’s greatest gifts to his kids and grandkids is a book that he was working on outlining a model for parenting that he’d developed covering the stages parents go through in the relationships with their children. They just received the final edited manuscript.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Mildred.

He is survived by his wife, Renee (Berven), and his five children: Lauren (Reid) Vander Veen of Worthing, SD; Olivia (Joshua) Tracy of Harrisburg, SD; Regan of Dallas, TX; and Levi and Kylen, both of Waubay. Missing their grandpa tremendously will be Finley, Ezra, and Willa Tracy as well as Ronan and Auden Vander Veen.

He is also survived by his four older siblings; Deb (Paul) Mogen of Casper, WY; Cindy (Don) Wolter of Webster, Barb (Randy) Hough of Webster, and Jerry (Peggy) Olson of Red Wing, MN.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be accepted to help with the release of Ron's book. The address is 47511 278th St, Worthing, SD 57077. Thank you.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday January 24th, 2020 | 5:00pm - 8:00am
    Friday January 24th, 2020 5:00pm - 8:00am
    Cornerstone United Methodist Church
    1350 11th St NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57223
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
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  • Service

    Saturday January 25th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Saturday January 25th, 2020 1:00pm
    Cornerston United Methodist Church
    1350 11 St NE
    Watertown, SOUTH DAKOTA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Send flowers for Ronald's Service
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  • Interment

    Egeland Lutheran Cemetery
    Egeland Township, SD


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Posted at 12:50pm
Renee and family,
Sorry about the passing of Ron. Husband, Father and friends of many will miss him dearly for a long time. We mourn your loss and send our thoughts and prayers to you and the family. With Deepest Sympathy. Our love to you and your family. May God Bless and Comfort you during these hard times.
Dick and Pat Gooding

Krecia Leddy

Posted at 08:18pm
My deepest sympathy to the Olson family. I was fortunate to be able to get to know and work with Maurice and Ron while working in Day County early in my career. They were both excellent stewards of the land and natural resources. Very sad for their families to lose both to tragic accidents. Praying for Renee and rest of the family. May God give you the strength you need during this difficult time.

Carolyn Rose Lange

Posted at 09:34pm
Praying daily for you Renee and the whole family all to be wrapped in the comforting arms of Jesus. Ron and his family helped our family when we had no money - no food and no income. Ron & his precious wife mentored us and shared mercy and grace. They always had open arms, infectious smiles and warm embraces. They always made time for anyone that was hurting or needed guidance. Ron was wise, discerning, witty, hilarious and such an outstanding role model and such an incredible dad. He created memories that made you laugh and cry at the same time. He was a natural leader and teacher - I can’t wait to get several copies of his book to share - He was confident in who he was in Christ. He made a difference in our lives and we are forever grateful. His legacy is one of extraordinary faith, perseverance, integrity, humility , authenticity & transparency. Thank you Lord for sharing Ron with us all this time! Watch over his loved ones on earth and let his legacy live on forever. Amen.

Clayton Halverson

Posted at 09:18pm
As a friend of Ron and Renee I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing. We always had good visits and I enjoyed his quick wit and keen observations. Also happy to have had Lauren as my intern in the SDHouse. Clayton Halverson


Posted at 10:33am
To Renee and her family,

We are so very sorry to hear about Ron. Jay & I are sending lots of hugs and love your way. Thoughts, prayers and peace to to you and your family. With much love, Susan & Jay Menzel

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