James Richard Olsen
James Richard Olsen
  • June 22, 1940 - August 28, 2014
  • Arizona

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James Richard Olsen lost his fight with Alzheimer's on August 28th, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. His wife of fifty-one years, Sharon Lynn Evans Olsen, and his family were by his side. He is survived by his children, Virginia Lynn and Mark Andrew Lucas and James Michael and Debora Diane Olsen and his grandchildren, Christopher Michael Olsen, Kaitlyn Marie Lucas, Chadd Mark Lucas, Mary McKenna Olsen, Sundina Zapata, and Richard Rump and his great-granddaughter Elliana Lorena Olsen. He was born on June 22, 1940 in Green Bay Wisconsin, the second child of Kenneth Martin Olsen and Kathryn Loretta 'Polly' Olsen. He is also survived by his siblings and their spouses, Tom and Nancy Olsen, Bill and Ann Olsen and Brent and Kathy Thorne, his brother-in-law, William Evans and his sister and brother-law Leslie and Steve Byrum, their families, Melanie and Jory Richman, Ken & Kim Olsen, Elisa and Jason Smith, Karen and Mike Liebau, Bill and Kathy Olsen, Kathleen and Jeff Saunders, Kim and Byron Frisch and Pete and Gigi Baltes and their children. After growing up in Green Bay, Wisconsin they moved to Cleveland, Ohio and Dallas, Texas; his family then settled in Hopkinton, Massachusetts where he played Hockey, Basketball and Football for Hopkinton High. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Brown University where he attended on a NROTC scholarship. He was on the Hockey Team at Brown before graduating with a degree in American Literature and a minor in History. He then became a member of the US Navy as a LTJG on the USS Stoddard out of San Diego where he met his wife, Sharon. Jim took his first of several tours of duty to Vietnam shortly after they were married. Their daughter Ginia was born in San Diego, California in 1964. After returning from Vietnam he was transferred to Naval Destroyer School in Newport, Rhode Island. He was a Specialist in Antisubmarine and Seal Warfare and after Destroyer School, Lieutenant James Olsen became a Weapons Officer on the USS Norris. Their son Mike was born in Newport in 1966. He had tours in the Middle East and again in Vietnam. After his last tour in Vietnam, Jim became a District Manager for Schlitz Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then was transferred to Fargo, ND, Phoenix, Arizona, Atlanta, GA and Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Jim became Vice President of Geyser Peak Winery in Napa Valley after Schlitz acquired the winery and he moved his family to Marin County. Seven years in Northern California gave him the opportunity to fish and enjoy the sea with his family. In 1980, he moved his family to Tempe, Arizona, becoming a partner and Vice President of Anderson and Burke, a beer distributorship in Phoenix. Her retired in 1988, and became a business consultant. In his retirement, he took care of his mother. He loved to fish, build model ships, golf, read, play crossword puzzles, garden, travel, and spend time with his family and his beloved wife. He loved the sea, fine art, good music and enjoying life. He believed in honesty and integrity and lived those tenets in his everyday life. He was a deeply religious man, and went to church not because he had to, but because he truly believed in and loved God. Heaven is a better place now that he is there, but we will miss him here on earth. A Memorial Mass in memory of his life will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Friday, September 12, 2014 at 10:00 am. Donations may be made in Jim's name to Catholic Relief Services www.crs.org or Alzheimer's Association www.alz.org or Hospice of the Valley http://www.hov.org/why-hospice-valley. Arrangements are entrust to Carr-Tenney Mortuary, Tempe, visit www.carrtenneymortuary.com to leave condolences for the family.