Cover photo for Marilyn Olson's Obituary
Marilyn Olson Profile Photo

Marilyn Olson

September 29, 1924 — July 11, 2017

Marilyn Olson


Marilyn Beatrice (Maiers) Olson died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Mari was one of five children, born to Peter and Helen (Tomkins) Maiers on September 29, 1924 in Minneapolis, MN. Mari graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis in 1942.

After high school Mari worked in downtown Minneapolis and southern California. After being set up on a blind date during Lent by her cousin Ione, she married Robert P. Olson on May 18, 1946. Mari traveled the world with her husband. Mari and Bob were married 57 years until his passing in July, 2003.

Mari & Bob moved to Winona, MN in 1958.  She worked at Spurgeon’s for many years in the drapery department.  Mari had numerous hobbies, sewing clothes for her family, furniture upholstering and refinishing woodwork and of course quilting.

She was a woman of deep faith, self-less love, and unwavering kindness; these are values she taught her family by displaying them every day.  Mari was a true artist, creating beautiful and beloved clothing and quilts for her children and grandchildren.  She was a long time member of the St. Casmir’s Church and quilting group.  Mari enjoyed her summers and falls at Pollywog Farm where she entertained family and friends.  She swam regularly at the Winona YMCA into her 90s, and never missed mass.  She was open to any social event and always ready to help her family.  Mari loved all of God’s creatures, but especially dogs. She was funny, generous, thrifty, and above all, kind.

Mari is survived by her sister Louella (Rog) McInerny, 8 children: Candy (Bill) Pritchard, Helene (John) Olson-Reed, Terry (Teresa) Olson, Bob/Boomer (DeDe) Olson, Su (Paul) Spafford, Mark Olson, Mari (Chris) O’Connor, and Greg/Skip (Barb) Olson. 19 Grandchildren: Bill & Sean Pritchard, Valerie Kostecka, Megan & Peter Olson, Kale Olson-Reed, Amber Oshan, Cara Olson-Kolb, Sara Spafford-Freeman, Leah Omar, Joel & Samuel Spafford, Brianna Olson-Carr, Mariah Olson-Carr, Gabrielle O’Connor, Abigail Castleberry, Christopher O’Connor, Taylor & Bailey Olson. 17 Great Grandchildren: Danica Oldenburg & Samara Pritchard, Jada, Tia & Paige Pritchard, Alexander, Adam & April Kostecka, Adelita Reed, Priya & Arjun Oshan, Charlotte, Jack & Ingrid Freeman, Khalil & Scarlett Omar, and Draven Madeira. Mari is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bob, brothers, Peter & Don, sister, Patricia, nephews Rog McInerny, Kim Anderson, niece, Jeanne Anderson, brother-in-law, Bill Anderson, sisters in-law, Charlene (Peter) Maiers, Charlene (Don) Maiers  and daughter in-law Jackie (Mark) Olson-Carr.

Mari was cared for by a village of wonderful people in her final years, people we thank now for their love and care.

In lieu of flowers please donate to some of Mari’s passions, St. Casmir’s quilters, Winona Area Humane Society, and Winona Health Area Hospice Services.

Visitation will be held at St. Casimir’s Catholic Church on Sunday, July 16, 2017, from 6 PM until 8 PM, where the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will be held at 7:45 PM.  Visitation will also be held at St. Casimir’s on Monday, July 17, 2017, from 10 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 AM.  The Reverend Mark C. McNea will officiate.

Mari will be laid to rest in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Mari’s family at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn Olson, please visit our flower store.


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