Irene Ruth Olson, 88 departed this life for her heavenly home on November 18, 2020.
Irene Ruth was born in her family’s farmhouse on a stormy night, Aug 7, 1932. She was the second daughter of Allen and Ruth Bower, and new little sister to 4yr old Helen. Her folks farmed in Stoney Butte Township, seven miles north of Vivian, SD. Both her paternal and maternal grandparents were early homesteaders in this area, so she grew up and went to school with an abundance of cousins. When she was 11, her brother Lloyd joined the family. She loved books, dancing, drama, debate, journalism and was valedictorian of her 1950 graduating class at Vivian High School.
She met Robert Anderson at a dance in Vivian. He was from Centerville, SD, working nearby on a road construction crew. They married in 1950. Together they had six children, Dana, Melanie, Stuart, Dawn, Kirby and Raney. They lived first in Vivian, then Custer State Park, finally settling in Rapid City in 1958. Irene worked at the Esquire Club and Taylor’s (now Colonial House). She worked hard to provide for her family. The marriage was dissolved in 1970. In 1973 she married Delmar Olsen and moved to his farm/ranch just east of Gann Valley, SD. They had 43 wonderful years of marriage while farming wheat, corn, sunflowers, and raising cattle. Their twelve cityraised grandchildren all have special memories of the time they spent on their grandparent’s farm, and love to swap Grandma & Grandpa stories.
Irene and Delmar retired from their farm in 1998 and built their dream house in Wessington Springs, SD. There they were active in the United Methodist Church, and Irene became a proud and involved member of PEO. They enjoyed traveling, local activities, dancing, rodeo events, high school sports, baseball, and traveled to many of their grandchildren’s school events.
In 2018, Irene sold her Wessington Springs home and moved to Rapid City to be closer to her children. She resided at The Village at Skyline Pines.
Irene laughed much, loved many, and enjoyed life immensely. Despite numerous health problems and personal sorrows, she felt extremely blessed and felt that God directed her life, even to the smallest details.
She was preceded in death by two infant sons, Dana and Raney, her first husband, Robert Anderson, her brother, Lloyd Bower, parents, Allen and Ruth Bower, and most recently, her beloved husband, Delmar Olsen.
The family may be contacted at: 635 Alta Vista Drive, Rapid City, SD 57701. Memorials may be made to United Methodist Church in Wessington Springs, SD. Due to COVID restrictions, there will be no immediate service. A memorial service for Irene will be held in 2021 when family and friends may attend.