Wilma Ann Osborn Olson 1935-2015
A memorial service for Wilma Ann Osborn Olson of Emmetsburg will be held at a later date with burial at South St. John’s Cemetery near Cylinder. The Joyce Funeral Home in Emmetsburg is in charge of arrangements.
Wilma was born near Seneca, IA, the daughter of Earl (Shorty) and Ethel (Twait) Osborn, on Oct 31, 1935. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Depew. Part of her childhood was spent in Loves Park, IL where her father worked at the Sylvania Plant during World War II and her mother sold real estate. She was joined by a brother, Bruce in June of 1937. Upon moving back to Iowa, she graduated from Cylinder High in 1953. She met the love of her life when she was 16 a dashing black haired, blue eyed Emmetsburg Norwegian by the name of Carroll Olson. He was an Airman and stationed in Wichita Falls, TX. He ‘popped’ the question and she and her Mom put a wedding together in six weeks before he was to be transferred.
On July 16, 1953, Wilma Osborn became Wilma Olson at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Depew. It was an extremely hot day. Wilma loved the look of Carroll in his ‘dress blues’ which were made of 100% wool and he wore those proudly as he said ‘I do’. They left for Texas that night. They were later stationed in Amarillo, TX and then Topeka, KS. It was in Topeka where their first daughter, Debra Ann was born in 1955. Carroll left the Air Force in the summer of 1957 to farm on the Olson family farm near Ottosen. It was here where two more daughters were born; Diane Kristie in 1957 and Denise Lynn in 1959. She got a wonderful surprise in 1957, with the birth of a brother, Jon who became more of a son and a brother to Deb, Diane and Denise. While raising three girls on the farm she sold Avon. She gardened, including canning and freezing the bounties from the garden. Summer days of canning and freezing sweet corn on the farm with the assistance of her parents are fond memories of the family. Once ‘the girls’ were in school, she took a job as a Dental Assistant for Rolfe dentist, Dr. Rainey. She later worked for the West Bend school district as a secretary to the Principal at the Middle School in Rodman.
In 1973, the family moved to West Bend. Never one to be idle, Wilma took a job at Lakeland Education Agency in Cylinder. During this time, she also served as a ‘field correspondent’ for KEMB-FM, Emmetsburg, reporting the ‘comings and goings’ in West Bend.
In 1978, Carroll and Wilma moved to Emmetsburg. After leaving Lakeland, Wilma became the head of Emmetsburg Low-Rent Housing, the HUD agency assisting persons needing assistance in securing safe and affordable housing. She served in this role for over 15 years. Shortly after moving to Emmetsburg, Wilma began a ‘side’ career that would take her and Carroll from Hawaii to Jamaica, as well as Cancun, Acapulco and Mazatlan, Mexico. This new career was that of a Pearl Saleswoman with Dojan Pearls out of Orange City. As Wilma became more involved with ‘her Pearls’, she could be found visiting with anybody extolling the virtues of cultured pearls and asking if she could host a party for them.
Growing up an Olson meant summer vacation. Wilma would save the money she earned from her jobs so the family could take car trips and later pick-up camper trips to various places around the country. Destinations were to see friends they made from their Air Force days, as well as family, including Carroll’s brother Tom and his family in Albuquerque, NM.
Wilma was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Emmetsburg. On Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, she passed away at the Lakeside Lutheran Home.
Left to cherish her memory is her best friend, Carroll; three daughters: Debbie Sellers and her husband, Gordon of Hawarden, and their two sons, Jim and Brenda Sellers of Elk Point, SD, Tom and Sarah Sellers of Hawarden; Diane Clasing and her significant other, Bobby Steger, Jr., and her three daughters: Kristie and Dustin Palmer of Ames, Kari and Andy Pelkner of Omaha, NE and Kourtney Clasing of Ames; Denise Micklos and her husband, Tim of Jackson, MN and their children: Megan and her fianc Casey Heser and Joe Micklos of Jackson; five great-grandchildren: Emma and Anna Sellers of Elk Point, SD, Devon Palmer of Ames, and Camden and Elodie Pelkner of Omaha, NE; brother, Bruce Osborn, and his wife, Marlene of Cylinder and her sister-in-law, Sherri Brede- hoeft and her husband, John of Emmetsburg.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and brother Jon Osborn.