Theodore James ‘Ted’ Olson
Theodore James “Ted” Olson, 83, Belle Fourche, SD, died at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Hospice in Fort Meade, surrounded by his loving family, on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011.
Ted was born May 20, 1928 to William and Anne (Helmer) Olson at home on the Pascoe Ranch, west of Belle Fourche, SD. Ted grew up on the family ranches in partnership with his Dad and brothers raising cattle and sheep, farming and milking cows. He received his education in Butte County, attending White School, Ingersoll School, and Belle Fourche High School. Ted was drafted into military service January 1951. He was stationed at Camp McCoy, WI, where he was assigned Military Police duties; Sandia Base, Albuquerque, NM; and Fort Sill, OK.
He served in the U.S. Army Military Police during the Korean Conflict until his honorable discharge in January 1953 when he returned to work with his Dad and brothers on the ranch. Ted met the love of his life, Anna Laura Lee, at a Country Dance at the Spearfish Park Pavilion. While Ted was home on furlough, they were married July 24, 1951, at the United Methodist Church in Belle Fourche. After they were married, Ann joined Ted at Camp McCoy, WI. Ann returned home in August 1952 to await the birth of their first daughter, Barbara Ann.
After his discharge from the Army, Ted resumed farming and ranching with his Dad and three brothers. He lived with his wife and daughter, Barbara, in Belle Fourche for a short time and worked for the Soil Conservation District before moving to the ranch 12 miles east of Belle Fourche near Orman Dam. It was here a second daughter, Linda Lee, was born. Along with developing his homestead, Ted was a member of the United Methodist Church, Chairman of the Orman School Board, President and served on the Board of Directors for Farm Bureau, President of the Arpan Community Club, member of the Moose Lodge, Amvets, South Dakota SheepGrowers, and South Dakota Stockgrowers.
Ted was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He made each and every one of his family feel loved. Some of his greatest pleasures came from his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Watching their activities kept him young at heart. Ted was a wonderful man who loved farming and ranching. He was born in an era when a person’s word was his worth; this was very important all through his life. Ted will be fondly remembered for the love of his wife, his daughters, and their families. Those who knew him will recall his quiet and gentle spirit, honesty, warmth, and sense of humor.
Ted is now dancing on the streets of gold and having a beautiful reunion with loved ones and friends who have gone before him. He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Anne Olson, two brothers, Richard (Dick) Olson, and W.R. (Bob) Olson.
Ted’s spirit now lives on through his wife of 60 years, Ann of Belle Fourche, SD; his daughters Barbara (Jeff) Ogaard of Rapid City, SD and Linda (Ron) Swan of Belle Fourche, SD; brother Donald “Don” Olson of Belle Fourche, SD, sister Alice (Ralph) Trygstad of Redding, CA; five grandchildren, James (Chelsie) Ogaard, Matthew (Amber) Ogaard, Travis, Ashley and Kelli Swan; and four great granddaughters, Olivia, Kylee, Bayleigh and Hope.
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