John Olson, age 94, of Maple Park, passed away to tend the fields of the Lord, Sunday, November 29, 2020.

He was born April 12, 1926, in Geneva, IL, to proud parents, John Sr. and Milda Olson.

John’s family lived in Aurora for a time before moving to Rockford and Rockton areas, where he attended local one room school house. Stories have it that he rode a horse to school…uphill….both ways. They moved a few miles east of Maple Park on Rt. 38 where they began farming and where John began his real education.

Marianne Train caught John’s heart after he caught her eye, and they were united in marriage in March of 1949. They began their new life on the Keenan farm on Harter Rd. for a time before settling on Pritchard Rd. where they continued to raise a growing family that included five sons. Grief came to call on March 13, 1998 when Marianne passed away after 49 years of marriage. In time, his heart began to mend and made room for another love, Shirley Harvell. She too lost her spouse and together they made a great team. They were walked down the aisle in 2001, spending the next 19 years making memories to cherish for a lifetime. 

John’s heart and soul were mixed with the soil that he tended, but found time to work as a welder on the side, helping to put up metal buildings. No day was complete without overseeing the blessings that were laid out before him, row by row, from his home to the horizon. 

He was a proud member of the Kane County Car Club, the DeKalb County Farm Bureau and the Lord of Life Lutheran Church.

John’s work ethic was forged in the soil of his youth, but restoring cars was a passion that was put on display in parades as a member of the Kane County Car Club. Going on rides with his family made memories with every mile, but it was the times when the family all piled in a camper, and later an RV, to camp in Mississippi, that shine the brightest. John’s faith was the bedrock of his life, and his teachings were shared with others when he, alongside Marianne, worked as a Missionary and Lay Pastor at various churches, even going to Russia for a few months. His legacy now becomes the fields he worked and the family he raised. John will never be forgotten.

John now leaves his wife Shirley Olson; four sons: Jan (Patricia) Olson, Dwight (Laurie) Olson, Dale Olson and Gary (Dianna) Olson; twelve grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; one brother Larry (Jeannette) Olson; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends that span the countryside.

He now joins his parents, John Sr. and Milda Olson; his first wife, Marianne Olson; one son Duane Olson; a daughter-in-law Susan Olson; one brother Don Olson; and a half-brother Dave Gustafson, who preceded him in death.

A graveside service will begin at 11 a.m., Thursday, December 3, 2020, at Pierce Cemetery, at the corner of Pritchard and Owens Rd., in Maple Park.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in John’s name to a charity of your choice. Tributes and memories may be left on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at

6 thoughts on “JOHN OLSON

  1. John was my sister’s husband for the past 19 years. A true farmer through and through. A devout Christian, and he never deviated from his faith. He loved his farmer’s home out in the country and he and my sister, Shirley would take their camper down to Mississippi to camp. They always came back home with new friends they had made there who turned into “life long friendships.” He owned three beautiful antique cars and loved driving them in parades in countryside towns. The one thing I remember the most aboutJohn is he never sat still for very long. He was always doing something. Always on the move. He and Shirley often went for rides in the country to see how the crops were doing. He lived a very full and active life. When I would come back home and visit them, John and I would always watch old western movies and eat pie. Rest In Peace,John.
    My condolences to the Olson family
    John’s sister-in-law,
    Judee Roinas Darby and my daughter Amy

  2. We are so saddened to hear of John’s passing but are comforted in knowing he has found his way home to the Lord. Our fondest memories of both John and Shirley was being greeted by them every Sunday morning at church with the brightest of smiles and a hug. He will be missed by so many.
    Sincerely, Wade & Kim Kuipers

  3. My condolences to the family of John Olson!!! I’m a nephew of Shirley Harvell!!!

  4. To the Olsen family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. May memories comfort you!!

  5. Uncle John was a prophet. His belief was no one left behind:) He was a HERO!!!

  6. My family, the Conrad West family, lived as neighbors to the Olsons, and were great friends and knew them for many, many years. What a wonderful family and also we all knew the Harvel family also. It was my pleasure to know these two families and to know John. He was always there to help you if you needed some help in any way, and his strong belief in Jesus was a strong witness. My prayers and sympathy are with you all. God Bless.

Leave Condolences or Memories