Date of Birth
Date of Death
Shirley J. Olson, age 71 of St. Charles, formerly of Maple Park, passed away Thursday, January 1, 2004, at Delnor Community Hospital, Geneva, after many months of therapy to heal an ongoing infection. She was born August 12, 1932, in St. Charles, IL, the daughter of Frederick and Hazel (Bahr) Rakow. Shirley grew up in West Chicago, IL, where she graduated from West Chicago High School with the class of 1951. On August 25th of that year, she was united in marriage to Donald E. Olson, in West Chicago and they farmed with Donald’s father on the home farm, in Maple Park. In August of 1968 Donald fell to his death in a construction accident. Following his death, Shirley continued to make her home on the family farm near Maple park until 1990, when she moved to St. Charles, Il. When her children were young, Shirley began driving school buses for Kaneland School Dist. #302. Even after her children graduated, Shirley continued to drive a bus on her day off from her full time job at the State Bank of Geneva. She was employed a the bank for over twenty-five years until an auto accident changed her life in February of 2003. Truly an independent and self-driven woman, Shirley fought hard to regain her health and the use of her legs after the accident. Although she lost that battle, Thursday morning, she had long ago gained the victory of Eternal Life through her faith in Jesus Christ. Shirley attended St. John’s Lutheran Church, Sycamore, IL. for many years, and for a time attended St. John Neuman Church, St. Charles, IL. In more recent years, she attended the Faith Lutheran Church in Geneva, IL. Shirley’s faith was an active and vital part of her life and she participated in a number of Bible studies and prayer groups in the community. She was also very fond of the Moody Bible Institute and supported its ministries through the years. She is survived by three children and their families: Andrea (Paul) Gullickson of Davenport, IA, and their two sons, Todd and Scott, both of Davenport; Donald (Susan) Olson of Lower Gwynedd, PA, and their son Mathew; and Karen Olson of Chicago, IL.; three siblings: Nancy Lange of Carpentersville, IL, Ron (Eldra) Rakow of West Chicago, IL and Bonnie (Lou) Israel of Tomohawk, WI and several nieces and nephews. In addition, she leaves a host of friends, many of whom will long recall the cookies Shirley baked and shared for so many years. She is preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Donald E. Olson; one brother-in-law, Manley Lange and one nephew, Duane Olson. In lieu of flowers, memorials to benefit her beloved charities may be given in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, Il 60119
Her funeral service will be held at 10:00 am Tuesday, January 6,2004, at the Faith Lutheran Church, 1745 Kaneville Rd., Geneva, Il.
Interment will be at Blackberry Cemetery, Elburn, Il 60119