Shirley M. Olson


  Shirley M. Olson, 86, Cook, passed away on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at Carefree

Assisted Living in Cook.

    She was born Shirley Mae Kilgore on October 1, 1929 in Wenatchee, Washington.  At the age of 12 the family moved to Seattle where she grew up and helped in the family store.  Shirley headed off to Bethel College in St. Paul, where she met Wally Olson.  They were on a gospel team together, finished college together and married on August 26, 1953 in Seattle. Wally then went and completed Seminary.  Shirley and Rev. Wally Olson spent their lives bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Native Americans in Minnesota and Canada.   Their ministry included Nett Lake, Lac La Croix and the Twin Cities.  While in the Twin Cities, Shirley earned her Elementary Education Degree and taught for several years in the Mound View School District.  The Olson’s served the Nett Lake Baptist Church from 1957 to 1973, St. Paul Indian Ministries from 1973 to 1984, with Wally serving as the Director of Indian Ministries in Minnesota and Canada from 1976 to 2005, and was Associate Pastor of visitation of the First Baptist Church in Cook from 2006 until his death in 2008.

   Shirley was very active in every church and her passion was music ministry and kids programs. Prime Timers was one of the highlights of her ministry at First Baptist Church in Cook. 

   Navigating her way after Wally’s death to finding a new mission, was something Shirley did through the Lord’s grace and peace. This was also evident as she found new meaning in living with Alzheimer’s. She had resided as Carefree Living in Cook the past four years, a place she affectionately called her home, and the family wishes to thank them for making mom their family.

      She is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Rev. Wally Olson on January 2, 2008; 1 brother, Walt Kilgore (1996) and 1 grandson, Brent Olson (2001).

     Shirley is survived by 2 sons, Randy Olson of Cook and Dean (Sharon) Olson of Eagan, MN; 2 daughters, Karen (Mark) Shermer of Angora and Lorie (Michael) Cousineau of Medina, MN; 1 sister, Carmen (Bruce) Nylund of Mukilteo, WA; 1 sister-in-law, Elaine (Bruce) Keen of Issaquah, WA; a brother-in-law, David (Joan) Olson of Spokane, WA.; 8 Grandchildren: Nick (Jamie) Shermer, Christine (James) Kainwo, Kari (Devon) Roehrich, Amy (Phil) Mattson, Jacelyn Olson, Melissa Ford, Sophia Cousineau and Isabelle Cousineau; 10 Great Grandchildren, Alina, Koryn, Asa, Kaenan, Isabelle, Samuel, Madalyn, Benjamin, Charlie and Adrian; along with numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

    SERVICES:  Memorial services will be at 1:00 PM Saturday, (November 14th) at the First Baptist Church in Cook, with family receiving friends for one hour prior to the service. Rev.’s Randy Swenson and Jared Bangs will be the officiants. The soloist will be Kathy Forsline and pianist Doreen Olson.  Visitation will be from 6 to 8 PM Friday, with a sharing of memories at 7:30 PM at the Mlaker Funeral Home in Cook.  A reception in Shirley’s honor will follow the service in the church social hall. Interment will be in the Cook Community Cemetery.  To sign the online guestbook, or send a condolence to the family, go to :