James D. Olson, 72, of Beattie, Kansas, passed away on Thursday, November 28, 2019 at a Topeka hospital. He was born on November 4, 1947 in Hammond, Indiana, the son of Paul Douglas and Evelyn Linnea (Bexell) Olson.
James graduated from Manhattan High School in 1966. He attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas until enlisting in the U.S. Navy and served during the Vietnam War. He then returned to Bethany College following his Honorable Discharge. James earned his Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities from Kansas State University. James was employed by U.S.D. 364 Marysville Junior/Senior High School for 30 years and taught the severely multiple handicapped students before retiring in 2006. During his teaching career, he coached the golf team and was a Scholars Bowl sponsor. He was a member of CEAI and very active with Special Olympics, Big Brothers and Child Advocacy. He continued working with the individuals with disabilities after retiring.
James was a long time member of the Gideons International, Washington/Marshall Camp and loved participating in distributions and speaking in many different churches about the Gideon mission. He loved living and sharing his love of Jesus with others. He was active in Habitat for Humanity and served on the board of Agency for Aging. James and his wife were foster parents and hosted international exchange students in their home and became a part of their family. They were active members of the Salem Lutheran Church and currently members of the Marysville Berean Church. They actively attended the Nemaha County Transplant Support Group and its activities. He was a kidney recipient (Pat’s) in 2004.
James married Patricia Elaine Miller on October 18, 1969 in Seguin, Texas and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. She survives. Other survivors include children, Paul Jonathan (Mara) Olson of Frankfort, Amy Michelle (Sean) Spoonts of Eureka, Angela Eve (James) Perry of Leavenworth, eight grandchildren, Mitchell, Alyssa, Keller, Garrison, Carson, Carter, Teagan and Ellis, one great-grandson, Zacharia and his sister, Janice (Tim) Taussig of Overland Park.
A Celebration of James’ Life will be held will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the Marysville Berean Church. Private inurnment will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Gideons International c/o Washington/Marshall Camp, P.O. Box 55, Marysville, Kansas 66508. Each gift will provide Bibles and New Testaments around the world.
Dove Southeast Chapel, 2843 SE Minnesota Ave. is assisting the family.
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