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Glenda Ileen Olsen

July 21, 1913 September 11, 2009
Glenda Ileen Olsen
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Obituary for Glenda Ileen Olsen

Glenda Ileen Olsen

Long-time Worthington resident Glenda Ileen Olsen, wife of W. Donald Olsen, died Friday, Sept. 11, 2009, at South Shore Care Center, where she was attended by the hospice services of Compassionate Care. She was 96.

Mrs. Olsen came to Worthington in 1943, where her husband served as dean and later president of Worthington Community College, now Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

She raised her family of two children and was active in a variety of community clubs, including Faculty Wives, the Eight-Thirty Club, of which she was a founder, and P.E.O. She was also an active volunteer at First Lutheran Church, especially with her Circle.

Mrs. Olsen pursued a variety of artistic interests. She painted in oils, made braided rugs and quilt tops, and practiced the Norwegian decorative art of rosemaling. She was especially interested in the craft arts of Norway and made her home a showplace for these arts. She learned Norwegian in her childhood home and spoke a pure form of the language that astounded people in Norway on her four visits to that country.

Born in Cottonwood, Minn., July 21, 1913, as Glenda Aamodt, Mrs. Olsen graduated with a teacher’s certificate from St. Cloud Teachers College and began a career in elementary education in several Minnesota towns. During her early years in Worthington, while she was raising her family, she tutored students in reading and frequently served as a substitute teacher in the Worthington Public Schools. Her warm and loving nature endeared her to her students. “I loved teaching,” she said. “I felt sorry for anyone who was not a teacher.”

On Aug. 12, 1939, Glenda Aamodt married Donald Olsen in Cottonwood, Minn. This year she and her husband celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. She was a devoted mother, and in her later years, she took great joy in her two grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She often said that her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were her greatest accomplishment.

Mrs. Olsen is survived by her husband of Worthington; her daughter, Sandra Looney, of Sioux Falls, S.D.; her son, Rodney Olsen, of Arlington, Va.; her granddaughter, Anja Ismert, of Kansas City, Mo.; her grandson, Aaron Looney, of Wustenhausen, Germany; her great-granddaughter, Marin Ismert, of Kansas City, Mo.; her great-grandson, Samuel Ismert, of Kansas City, Mo.; and her great-granddaughter, Hilda Looney, of Wustenhausen, Germany.

Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church, Worthington.
The service will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church, Worthington, with the Rev. Richard Ricker officiating. Burial will be in Hills of Rest Memorial Park, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Benson Funeral Home, Worthington, is in charge of arrangements.

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