ONAMIA, Minn. — Pamela Diane (DeGroot) Olson, 68, of Onamia, Minn., passed away suddenly Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday at Bethany Lutheran Church in Onamia, Minn., with Pastor Jess Olson officiating. Visitation with family and friends will be held one hour prior to Service.
Pamela was born to Harm and Alice (O’Neil) DeGroot on November 2, 1952, in Worthington Minn. Pam was a graduate of Worthington High School, Class of 1971.
Shortly after graduation, she married the love of her life, James Leslie Olson, on June 5, 1971. Together, they had two children, Michael and Matthew. Pam and Jim’s life together started in southwestern Minnesota, but eventually took them to Spring Lake Park, Minn., by way of Huron. While in Spring Lake Park, Pam worked at Abra Auto Body and Schoonovers in Shoreview. The purchase of Onamia Lumber Company in 1991 is what brought Pam and husband Jim to their current residence of Onamia.
This move also sparked her strong connections to the community. Pam was actively involved in many organizations. With her energy, determination, and can-do attitude, she served the community as a member of the Onamia Lions, the Onamia Civic Association, the Lipski/Olson Caring Community Foundation, and Ruby’s Pantry, as well as a member and council member of Bethany Lutheran Church of Onamia Minn., and avid supporter of Angels Anonymous through Bethany.
Determined is a great descriptor of Pam. Pam was a 15-year cancer survivor, diagnosed with Paget’s Disease in 2006. Even in the most challenging of times, she faced it head-on and with a positive attitude. She participated in multiple 60-mile walks in support of cancer education & research, and rallied many friends and family to support the cause. She continued that support by befriending other cancer patients at Mille Lacs Health System (MLHS), supporting their cancer journeys, sharing her positive energy and listening ear to those receiving treatment. Recognizing her talents and connections with others, Pam was hired at MLHS in 2009 where she would work until her retirement in 2018. Passionate is another great descriptor of Pam. She found pure joy in life.
Her greatest treasures were her family and close friends. She beamed with pride with any mention of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and took every opportunity to spend time with them. She also enjoyed road trips with Jim on the motorcycle and in the RV, as well as countless adventures with a few close-knit groups of “besties”.
Pam is survived by her loving husband, James Leslie Olson of Onamia Minn.; her sons, Michael (Jennifer) Olson, Rockford Minn., Matthew (Nicole) Olson, Onamia Minn., and Mika (Tiina) Hautala of Helsinki, Finland; grandchildren, Kelsie (Robert), Jonathon (Liz), Erik (Haley), Kasidie, Natasha, Kadence, and Kendall; and great-grandchildren, Everly, RubyAnna, Walker, and another great-grandchild expected to arrive in June; siblings, Denny DeGroot, Pat (Mick) Eggers, Steve (Diane) DeGroot, Greg (Cindy) DeGroot, Vicki (Dean) Selberg, Jeff (Barb) DeGroot, Deb Boltjes (special friend Randy Harms) all of Worthington, Minn.; mother-in-law, Shirley Olson of Pipestone, Minn.; sister-in-law, Deb (Larry) Grootwassink of Dakota, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews. She will be deeply missed.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harm and Alice DeGroot; father-in-law, Don Olson; sister, Connie DeGroot; sister-in-law, Rafella DeGroot; and an infant niece, Michelle Eggers.
Memorials preferred to “Angels Anonymous,” care of Bethany Lutheran Church, 500 Lindquist, Onamia, Minn. 56359.
Arrangements are with Shelley Funeral Chapel of Onamia.