Ralph E. Olson - March 14, 2014Ralph E. Olson, age 87, of Hastings, formerly of Phillips, passed away Friday, March 14, 2014, at Mary Lanning Hospital.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 18 at the Phillips United Methodist Church. Rev. Bruce Phillips will officiate. Inurnment will be in the Phillips Cemetery. There will be no visitation. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be made in care of the family. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.
Ralph Eugene Olson, the son of Harry and Mary (Devore) Olson, was born on a farm near Phillips, Nebraska, on Dec. 14, 1926, and passed away at Hastings, Nebraska, on March 14, 2014, at the age of 87.
He grew up in the Phillips area and attended Phillips High School. Ralph served his country during World War II in the United States Army from April 1945 to December 1946. After being discharged from the service, he moved to California to work. Ralph returned to Nebraska and lived in Omaha, where he trained to be a hairdresser. He opened a salon in Phillips and in the early 70’s closed his salon and returned back to California. Ralph again returned to Nebraska where he worked in several stores and galleries in Grand Island area before retiring to live at his cabin on the Platte River. Ralph was very proud of the willow furniture he made and The Platte River Kaleidoscope Company he founded. His story about his kaleidoscopes was even aired on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt.
Ralph was a member of the Audubon Society and Saddle Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents; step-mother, Rosalie; two brothers LaVern and Donald Olson; nephew, Ben Olson; step-brother, Robert Cornelius and step-sister, Erma Bergholz.
Those who remain to cherish his memory are his nieces and nephews, Pam Clayton and friend David Liebsack of St. Joseph, Missouri, Carol (Kenny) Vincik of Aurora, John (Deb) Olson of Inland and Tom (Betty) Olson of Aurora; many great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews and step-sister, Betty Mabon of Phillips.