Lavelda Alice Olsen, 83, of Brookings, died Tuesday April 3, 2012, at her home, from complications related to leukemia.
She was born May 14, 1928, in Spokane, Wash., to Josephine Malvina (McNeil) Baldwin and William Francis Baldwin, the sixth of seven children.
She enjoyed a happy childhood in small northern Californian towns including Showers Pass, Scotia and Bonnie Doon, where she would walk through the forest or ride horseback to one-room school houses where her mother taught local children including her own.
Alice’s family moved to San Francisco in the 1940s where she graduated from Balboa High School. There she met her lifelong friend Noreen (Kindergan) Perscheid, with whom she shared a birthday.
Alice met her husband Edwin Oscar Olsen while both were working at Prudential Insurance, shortly after his return from serving in the U.S. Army Third Division in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. They were married in Carson City, Nev., in 1950, and enjoyed a 54-year marriage until his death in 2004.
Alice worked for a number of years at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, while Ed ran Olsen’s Meats out of Norm’s Market in Pescadero, Calif.
Alice and Ed raised three daughters in rural Pescadero, so they might enjoy the same lifestyle Alice once did. Ed helped build their home on a hillside covered with Douglas Fir trees, adding a pony and sheep to the meadow below. In later years they enjoyed many visits from grandchildren. Alice often baked apple pies while Ed would tend the barbecue, when he wasn’t riding on his mower or building a playhouse for the grandchildren. Alice and Ed moved to Timberline Drive in Brookings in 2004 to be near their daughter Christina, a local artist who helps manage the Brian Scott Gallery.
Alice’s favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. She was descended from four Mayflower families, the Whites, Warrens, Chiltons and Hopkins – families who survived the first year as colonists, and helped with the first Thanksgiving. Alice’s great grandfather (times three) Bangs Dunham fought in the American Revolutionary War. She was a distant cousin of seven presidents, including being an eighth cousin of Barack Obama through this same Dunham ancestry.
In recent years, Alice enjoyed visiting the Isle of Barra off Scotland for a McNeil reunion, visiting a one-room redwood schoolhouse on her 80th birthday where her mother once taught with her first great-grandchild in tow, attending granddaughter Kristen’s medical school graduation in 2010, and seeing her granddaughter Becky married in a field of lavender on Vashon Island last summer. Alice could often be seen around Brookings frequenting her favorite restaurants, or catching some afternoon ocean breezes from her sundeck.
Alice is survived by her sister Jewel Strocher of Brentwood, Calif.; devoted daughters Christina Olsen of Brookings; Janet Kipps of San Diego; and Mary Ann Tyrone of Cloverdale, Calif.; along with her wonderful sons-in-law. She was proud and devoted to her 11 grandchildren: Rob (Amy), Janna (Shaun), Kristen (Marjan), Becky (Eli), April (Ben), Julie, Lauren, Amber, Michael, Adam, and Jake; as well as her three great-grandchildren: Sarah, Blaise and her namesake Allison, born just this past summer. Additionally she leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would especially like to thank Don Greene, Steve and Jeanne Mundt, all of her wonderful caregivers, and Hospice. You all made it so much easier for us!
Alice will be laid to rest next to her husband Edwin at Skylawn Cemetery in San Mateo, Calif., later this month. Apple pie and coffee will be served .
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Submitted by the family.