Doug Olson, 75, Mitchell, formerly Artesian, S.D. died Friday, January 31, 2020 in Gilbert, A.Z. Visitation will be Friday, February 28, 2020, from 5-7 PM at Bittner Funeral Chapel with a prayer service at 6:30. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Saturday, February 29, at Resurrection Lutheran Church. Burial will be in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Artesian.
Douglas Delaney Olson was born on June 25, 1944 to Orlando and Doris (Hunter) Olson in Mitchell, SD. He was raised on the family farm north of Artesian. As an infant, Doug contracted meningitis which he was able to overcome. He attended Artesian Public School graduating in 1962. His favorite classes were history and government. He could name the US presidents in order in less than a minute. Doug played on the high school football and basketball teams.
He attended Northern State University where he majored in history and hanging out with the school athletes. Deciding that college wasn’t in his future, he became the owner/manager of Lucky’s Bar in Aberdeen. Doug was active with the Republican Party in his younger years. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Young Republicans in 1972, and was voted “Outstanding Young Republican of the Year”.
Doug later moved back to Artesian where he and his friend, Dee Jones, raised livestock until Doug eventually took over the family farm. Doug was an excellent hay stacker, a skill he learned from Uncle Ott. Doug, also, guided pheasant hunters for over 50 years. He hosted the South Dakota Governor’s Hunts in 1972 and 1986. Doug was an avid follower of South Dakota High School Basketball, especially Class B. He was an encyclopedia of high school basketball statistics. He could tell you, which team won any state tournament, the high scorer, the coach, the final score, the point spread and what he had bet on the game.
Doug married Joyce Phillips on April 3, 1976. They were blessed with three children (David, Joseph and Jill). Doug and Joyce continued living on the farm until 2012 when they moved to Mitchell. Doug always prided his “Supervisory” abilities. When a calf needed to be pulled, everyone in the family had a particular job. His job was to tell everyone else what to do.
In later years, West Whitlock Resort became his Happy Place. Ole enjoyed being out fishing for walleye or talking politics or sports with anyone who would listen. He caught his prize walleye last year while fishing on Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota.
Doug is survived by his wife, Joyce of Mitchell; his son, Joseph of Bismarck, ND; his daughter, Jill (grand puppy Tilly) of Letcher; his sister, Barb (LaMoine) Torgerson of Mitchell; and his brother Darrell (Judy) Olson of Mitchell.
He is preceded in death by his son, David; his parents; his sister, Norma; his infant brother, Roger; his special Uncle Ott; and his best friend, Dee Jones.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame (SDBBHOF).