Barbara Ann Olson, 88, left her earthly house in Palmer, Alaska for her heavenly home on December 4, 2021, with several family members by her side.
The oldest of three daughters, she was born August 29, 1933 to Robert and Ellen (Dickson) Batcher in Staples, where she grew up. During her teen years she put her faith in Jesus at a summer camp and was active in church throughout her life - playing the piano, singing alto and volunteering in various capacities. Barb was the Homecoming Queen of and graduated with the Staples High School Class of 1951. She attended St. Cloud State Teacher’s College, majoring in Phys. Ed. and earning her Provisional Elementary Certificate. While there, she met Lloyd Olson, the man who would become her husband of almost 69 years. The couple moved often and daughter Karen was born in Washington, D.C. and sons Keith and Karl in Colorado Springs, CO.
Barbara always had an enthusiastic zest for life and when job transfers took the family to Anchorage, AK and Kailua, Hawaii, she embraced each new opportunity wholeheartedly. In 1970, the Olsons moved back to Anchorage permanently. Always active, Barbara took up downhill skiing and joined the Sourdough Ski Patrol at Alyeska, where she served as secretary for many years. In her 50’s she competed in a triathlon and took first place in her age group. Barb worked several part-time jobs over the years but her main focus was always her family. She also loved hiking, berry picking, her vegetable garden, tending flowers and her backyard raspberry patch, from which she made mouthwatering pies and delicious jelly. She enjoyed handwork - knitting, embroidery and Swedish weaving - often blessing others with gifts of her beautiful work.
In 2017, Barbara had a terrible accident resulting in massive head injuries and a traumatic brain injury. Although doctors did not expect her to survive, she made a remarkable recovery with the prayers of family and friends across the country. She was left with substantial limitations, which she faced bravely and handled graciously, loving to say, “I’m a miracle.”
A year later, Lloyd and Barb made the daunting decision to move from their Anchorage home of 48 years to a smaller place in Palmer. Barbara sadly but determinedly faced it with her usual “Let’s go!” attitude.
Barbara will be most remembered for her dedicated love for her family and her Lord. She was vivacious and strong and she lived life to the fullest. She had a radiant smile that communicated God’s love to those around her.
She is survived by one daughter, Karen (Paul) Schindler; son, Keith (Sharon), grandson, Hunter, granddaughter, Emily; son Karl (wife, Amy Larson), granddaughter, Riley Olson; two sisters, LuJean Huffman-Nordberg and Joan Batcher Rhymers and their families.
Her husband, Lloyd W. Olson, 92, went to his heavenly home on December 15, 2021, just 11 days after Barb passed away.