In Memory

Reed Olson

Olson, Reed of Elk River, formerly of Edina, died unexpectedly of heart complications Sunday, Feb. 7. He was 61. He was a big man who lived a big life, which took him to the green grass of Duke University's Wallace Wade Stadium, the big sky of South Dakota and the wide-open waters of Leech Lake. Reed loved in a way that was just as big. He loved football and his alma maters. He loved to hunt pheasants and fish for muskies. Most of all he loved his family. Reed Donald Olson was born May 9, 1954 in Minneapolis. He graduated in 1972 from Edina High School, where he met his wife, Cindy. His talent on the field in high school under coach Stav Canakes earned him a full scholarship to Duke to play football. He played tight end and guard for four seasons under coaches Mike McGee, John Gutekunst and Carmen Falcone. Reed's athleticism also earned him a spot on Duke's baseball team. He married Cindy in 1975 and graduated from Duke in 1976. He worked in sales in Texas and Missouri, but returned to Minnesota shortly after the birth of his first daughter, Jenna. His second daughter, Erin, would soon follow. Erin inherited Reed's athletic talents and he enjoyed many years coaching her football team, watching her play numerous sports, and cheering her on to winning state and NCAA hockey championships. He continued his career in sales, working for technology companies such as Hewlett Packard, Amdahl and Oracle. Most recently, he was a much beloved member of the sales team at Guidewire Software, where he worked alongside his daughter, Jenna. Reed loved watching movies and listening to music with his family. He had an eclectic taste in music, from Glenn Miller to rock to country to Katy Perry, and always had a musical soundtrack in his life. Reed also had a passion for the outdoors. He loved animals, training three quarter horses and numerous dogs. He loved taking his dogs pheasant hunting in South Dakota in the fall. Summers were always spent at Leech Lake, whether it was Cabin Three at Shady Knolls Resort or the cabin on Templar Point. Reed's love for Leech Lake began in 1963 with family camping trips. In the off season, Reed was often busy restoring his boats. His first project was an award-winning Century Resorter restoration followed by a Chris-Craft Sea Skiff. His most recent project was his 28-foot Bertram Moppie, which he meticulously refurbished. Above all, no matter what the season, Reed cherished time with his family. Reed and Cindy celebrated their 40th anniversary last year in Key West. Preceded in death by mother-in-law, Katherine Graves. He is survived by his wife, Cindy Olson (née Graves); daughters Jenna (Pat) Anderson, Erin Olson; parents Donald and Marilyn Olson; sisters Kathy (George) Williams, Jackie (Eric) Eastman; brother Rick (Debbie) Olson; father-in-law Richard Graves; brothers-in-law Tom, Paul (Laura) Graves; sister-in-law Suzie (Paul) Reed; and many nieces & nephews. Memorial service 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 15, with visitation one hour prior to the service at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Ave. S. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Mount Olivet Cathedral of the Pines Camp or Pheasants Forever. Edina Chapel 952-920-3996