Warren Olsen, 74, of Viborg
VIBORG — Warren Olsen, 74, of Viborg, passed away Friday, November 18, 2022, at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Viborg, with visitation starting at 10 a.m.
Warren LeRoy Olsen was born June 14, 1948, at Hamot Hospital in Erie, Pa., to Wilbur and Ruth (Green) Olsen. He joined his brother, David, at home in Lincolnville and later they moved out to the farm. Growing up he enjoyed playing outdoors with friends, including playing around the sawmill where they weren’t supposed to be. They would spend time collecting bottles to trade for penny candy and sometimes if they got enough, they could get pop or ice cream instead.
He attended elementary school in Bloomfield/Union City and went on to High School in Union City where he graduated in 1967. While in High School he started the Chess Club and acted as president, which is still going today. He was also president of the Student Council for a time. His early pastimes included fishing with family and friends and going out to Canadohta Lake on the weekends for music and dancing. During this time, he also took up a strong interest in cars, the faster the car the better! This continued up until 2000 when he bought a blue Corvette.
On April 10, 1971, Warren married Sally Kennedy in Wattsburg, Pa. They resided in Union City where Warren worked for GE and AO Smith with his father and later for Tanner Construction in Wattsburg where he learned the building trade. They welcomed their firstborn son, Shawn, on Nov. 12, 1971. The family decided to move to South Dakota in April 1974, after he had previously taken a trip to visit relatives in the area. They lived in a farmhouse in rural Irene for a short while before moving into Viborg. On Sept. 1, 1974, they welcomed a daughter, Lisa.
He worked for Great Plains Supply in Centerville and later partnered with Lee Eberley for three years in building construction. After this partnership, he struck out on his own and began Olsen Builders, where he worked and served the local area until he “retired” in 2010. Warren’s legacy lives on in many of the homes he built and remodeled.
Warren was involved in many aspects of the Viborg community serving on both the volunteer fire department and ambulance crew, as well as various other activities. He also enjoyed dancing with the Danish Dancers. He was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church in Viborg serving his church in different leadership roles and with his gift of music.
On Sept. 28, 2002, Warren married Merolyn Boetel Salter. From this union he gained three stepsons, Tim, Brian and Jamie and their families. Together they accumulated a houseful of grandkids and great-grandkids, which they adored. They enjoyed going dancing, especially the Cha Cha, going out with family and friends and traveling together. Besides Warren’s passion for cars, he loved to dance, turkey hunt, fish and watch the grandkids in their various activities, but his real passion was for playing the guitar and singing. He loved to jam with anyone that was willing to play and sing along. He took a special delight in forming “Papa’s Band” with the grandkids.
Warren was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in December 2016. After undergoing a stem cell transplant, he was in remission for five years. In 2022, he was diagnosed with a secondary blood cancer resulting from his previous cancer treatment.
The Lord called Warren home on Friday, November 18, 2022, at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.
Warren is survived by his wife, Merolyn; son, Shawn (Kathy) Olsen of Dupree; daughter, Lisa (Jason) Stapert of Tumwater, Wash.; stepsons: Tim (Rebecca) Salter of Chancellor, Brian (Teresa) Salter of Sioux Falls and Jamie (Tammy Jo) Salter of Gilbert, Ariz.; grandchildren: Tristan and Bridger Stapert, Emily and Spencer Olsen, Jake (Sarah) and Ben (Ellie) Salter, Autumn (Logan) Leavitt and Noah Salter, and Chloe Salter; four great-grandchildren, and numerous step grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and first wife, Sally Weyer of Rapid City.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbur and Ruth Olsen; his brother, David Akins; and father and mother-in-law, Gerhard and Ormalyn Boetel.
A memorial has been established to the First Baptist Church in Viborg and The Gift of Life House in Rochester, Minn.
Arrangements by Hofmeister Jones Funeral Home.