Clarence Francis Olson, age 88, of Madison, died peacefully at his home on Friday, November 22, 2013.
He was born March 3, 1925, in Madison, one of eight children of Clarence A. and Clementine A. (Dempsey) Olson. He was united in marriage to Evelyn C. Farino on May 20, 1950 at St. James Catholic Church, Madison.
Of greatest importance to Clarence in life were God, family, and country. He served during World War II in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Measure minesweeper. After the war, he served in the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel having served in the 32nd Division, the same division as his father, as well as the 44th General Hospital and the 13th Evacuation Hospital.
Clarence served over 30 years with the Madison Police Department as a patrol officer, a special investigator for the old Crime Prevention Bureau, and retired as a detective. He started the Madison Police Department Pistol League and was proud of the many trophies he earned. He also managed the Dane County Pistol Range. He was an expert marksman, and taught many men and women how to shoot. As a police officer, he worked to change the image of policemen to be a more approachable one. He passed out Sixlets candy from his "magic policeman’s hat" to kids, loved working at The Loft with teens, on the police boat, and at Badger games. He was 14th District County Supervisor, sat on the County Board, and ran for sheriff.
As a proud member of the Dempsey clan, he participated in many St. Patrick’s Day parades and was an Irish dancer with the Shamrock Club. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing and Westerns. He was a longtime member of St. James Catholic Church, and a member of Elks, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, VFW, Gregg Club, Eagles, Madison Police Retirement Association, and Madison Professional Police Officers Association Board Director.
Clarence is survived by his wife of 63 years, Evelyn; two daughters, Kathleen Ellen (Joe) Gunta of Milwaukee and Jeanna Olson of Madison; three grandchildren, Joseph, Christopher and Andy Gunta; three sisters, Ginny Bonner Roehl, Margaret Cass, Sara (Terry) Anderson; brothers, Ray Olson, Jimmy Olson, Danny (Betty) Olson, Mickey (Lesa) Olson and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents.
The family is grateful for the support of many during this difficult time including caregiver and friend, Nancy Costello; Dr. Ryan Mattison and staff of the Carbone Cancer Center; Dr. Michael Thom and staff, especially Jenny; and the loving cousins who have been there for both Clarence and Evelyn.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, at ST. JAMES CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1134 St. James Court, with Msgr. Tom Baxter presiding.
Burial with military honors will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.