James Olson

James Clarence Olson, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, departed this world on February 9, 2024, at the age of 92. He was born on May 3, 1931, in Staples, MN, to his loving parents, Clarence and Anna (Reichel) Olson.

After graduating from Staples High School, James proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He courageously dedicated two years of his life to defend the freedoms we hold dear and was honorably discharged on July 31, 1954.


Upon his return to Staples, James’s life forever changed when he met Daneen Tappe. Their chance encounter at a café led to a love story that spanned decades. They exchanged vows on September 27, 1956. Together, they nurtured a beautiful family and raised five children, Sharon, Douglas, Renae, Kathy, and Debra, on their hobby farm just outside of town.

James was a dedicated and hardworking individual who wore many hats throughout his life. For over 30 years, he served as a school bus driver, ensuring the safety and well-being of countless children. Additionally, for 50 years, he lent his captivating voice and expertise as an auctioneer, spreading his passion for the trade with flair and charisma.

When he wasn't busy working, James enjoyed spending time with his friends at the café, playing cards, and shaking dice. He also had a love for music and played the piano as well as the accordion. His infectious smile and positive attitude brightened the spirits of those around him. James had an unwavering commitment to taking care of his family, always willing to lend a helping hand and provide support in any way he could.

James will forever be treasured in the hearts of his surviving family members. He leaves behind a loving son and four daughters, Sharon (Craig) Peterson, Douglas (Nancy) Olson, Renae (Randy) Wilson, Kathy (Kurt Wilson) Jennissen, and Debra Minnerath. He also leaves behind 13 adoring grandchildren, Jeff (Jess) Kemp, Sarah (Ryan) Nord, Amy Schneider, Logan Olson, Grace Olson, Emma Olson, Brian (Brianne) Henkel, Chris Jennissen, Cassandra (Jimmy) Peters, Tina (Dave) Dooher, Ryan (Amanda) Minnerath, Scott Minnerath, and Rachel (Jared) Odegaard, as well as 14 precious great-grandchildren. James will be dearly missed by his sister, Marjorie Miller. 


He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Anna Olson, his beloved wife, Daneen Olson, sister, Irene Olson, son-in-law, James Minnerath and great-grandson, Hayden Minnerath.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, February 16, 2024, at 10:30 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Staples, MN with a visitation one hour prior to the mass at the church on Friday.  Family and friends are invited to join in honoring his memory and sharing stories of his remarkable life.


Interment will be Evergreen Cemetery.


As we bid farewell to James, let us remember the lasting impact he had on our lives. His love, kindness, and resilience will forever serve as an inspiration to us all. May his soul find eternal peace, and may his memory be a comforting blessing to the lives he touched.

Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory of Alexandria



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