Leo Duane Olson

(April 10, 1940 - February 22, 2016)


The Lusk Herald
March 2, 2016



Leo Duane Olson, age 75, passed away at Niobrara Community Hospital in Lusk, Wyo., on Mon., Feb. 22, 2016.

Leo was born to Maurice and Vida (Olson) Olson on April 10, 1940 in Williston, ND. He lived on a farm near Epping, ND and went to country schools, then to high school in Ray, ND.

In high school he excelled in football and track and field. He was offered a football scholarship in his sophomore year, but chose to venture with a friend south from California to Texas. One of his adventures found him as an extra in the movie "The Alamo" with John Wayne and Richard Widmark. He was one of few that could drive a team of mules, which put him on the big screen driving a team of mules pulling a caisson cannon across the Rio Grande River.

In the latter part of 1959, he returned to North Dakota where he worked in the oil field close to Killdeer, North Dakota. He also worked for rancher George Fenton. He met Shirley Olson in the local Killdeer Caf&eaccute; where he asked her to a dance. They were soon united in marriage in June 24, 1960, the beginning of a lifelong dance.

They had a daughter Carrie that was the gleam in his eye. His four sons Mika, Travis, Daniel and Justin were his pride and joy. His many grandchildren were his laughter.

Leo owned the Dray Service in Killdeer. He loved to trap.

In the early 70's, he moved his family to the Spearhead Ranch in Wyoming and trapped coyotes for several large ranches. A business adventure drew Leo and Shirley back to Killdeer where they owned and operated Shirley's Sweet Shop. Their love for Wyoming drew them back where he again worked as predator control and a big game guide on the Spearhead Ranch. He also built and designed sawmills. North Dakota called again where they bought a place north of Richardton with the thought of retiring. Leo could not stay away from the place he truly loved, Wyoming, where he and Shirley resided close to their daughter Carrie.

Leo was a cowboy/trapper/jack-of-all-trades/frontiersman, and was a member of the National Fur Traders Association. He loved to ride in the mountains with Shirley and his kids and close friends. He trapped all his life. Leo was great at giving advice to his family and friends. He was often described as one of a kind. He was a jokester and loved to make people laugh. Leo's mind and hands worked together like magic. He would think of something and his hands would build it, with his beautiful wife Shirley at his side. He was rarely seen without her. He lived life exactly like he wanted, FREE.

Leo's life was a celebration, so think of him not in sorrow, but in joy and laughter - that is what he wanted to give us. He loved his family and friends, and all he came across.

Laughter was his song, and he sang it all day long. He will be missed but remembered by all for his memories of love, laughter, and life. Look around, Leo has not gone anywhere - he is everywhere, in all of us. Leo is our superman.

Leo was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Vida. He is survived by his wife Shirley; daughter Carrie Strohecker (John), granddaughters Laura Mortensen (Brandt), and Anna; son Mika (Janine), grandsons Johnathan, Jayden and Jace and granddaughter JaLynn; son Travis (Rendi), granddaughters Logan, Halle, and Reagan; son Daniel (Tammy), grandson Landon and granddaughters Hanna and Laken; and son Justin (Jackie), granddaughter Stevie Schaper (Dylan) and grandson Christian.

Memorial services were held in Douglas, Wyo., Thur., Feb. 25, 2016 at the Ag Hall Building at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds. A celebration of Leo's life for friends and family will be held at 7:00 P.M. at the High Plains Cultural Center in Killdeer, ND, Fri., Feb. 26. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Sat., Feb. 27, 2016, at the High Plains Cultural Center.

Pier Funeral Home of Lusk, Wyo. assisted the family in Wyoming, and Ladbury Funeral Services assisted the family in North Dakota.




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