Kent Olsen, 72, Albert Lea

Published 9:02am Sunday, May 5, 2013

Funeral services for Kent Roger Olsen, 72, of Albert Lea, will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bonnerup Funeral Home in Albert Lea. The Rev. Nancy Overgaard will officiate. Interment will be at the Lakewood Cemetery following the ceremony. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Bonnerup Funeral Home.

Kent died Thursday, May 2, 2013, at his home with loved ones by his side.

Kent Olsen
Kent Olsen

Kent was born on Dec. 28, 1940, in Fargo, N.D., to Kermit and Laura Mae (Bailey) Olsen. He lived in Hannaford, N.D., most of his childhood until 1952, when he and his family moved to Fargo. Kent graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1958. He worked his way through college and graduated from North Dakota State University in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. In July of 1965, he moved to Fairmont and was employed at Fairmont Railway Motors as a draftsman. There he met Shirley Osborn, who was working as a secretary in the engineering department. They were married June 11, 1966, in Fairmont. In March of 1968, they moved with their daughter, Karen, to Albert Lea, where Kent joined Almco as a project engineer. He and Shirley moved with Karen and son, Paul, to Sterling Heights, Mich., in June of 1970, when Kent became Almco’s branch manager in Detroit. In August of 1974, they moved back to Albert Lea with daughters, Karen and Laura Mae, and sons, Paul and Tom. Kent accepted the position of director of research and development at Almco. He became one of the owners of Almco in April of 1988. When Innovance became owner of Almco in July of 2004, Kent became a consultant. He worked there until February of 2009.

Kent is survived by his wife, Shirley; children, Tom and Karen Hallisy of Albert Lea, Paul and Deb Olsen of Worthington, Tom Olsen of Chanhassen, and Laura Mae Gilbertson of Albert Lea. Grandchildren: Jackson and Tiffany Hallisy, Andrew and Bryce Olsen, and Scott and Julissa Gilbertson. Brother, James Olsen of Huntington Beach, Calif. Sister-in-law, Marilyn Olsen of Berryville, Va. Nephews, nieces, other family members, and friends.

Kent was preceded in death by his father in 1977, his mother in 1992, his brother, Alan, in 1996, and his sister-in-law, Maryalice Olsen, in 2002.

Kent loved being with his children. He was so proud of them and just wanted them to be happy. As they were growing up, he enjoyed taking them on trips. When the grandchildren came along, he was a very proud grandpa. His family meant so much to him.

Anyone who knew Kent knew of his love of cars and car racing. Also, his need for a clean car. He always said that a clean car ran better. The kids grew up going to races on weekends and making good memories. We will miss his racing stories. After the kids grew up, he liked going for motorcycle rides, as well as bicycle rides. It was his way of relaxing and seeing the country at the same time.

The family wishes to thank the short stay staff of Thorne Crest Retirement Community. They were very caring and always did extra things to help make his stay go better. He had some special nurses and aids he called angels. Also, the people at Health Reach were very patient and kind. Home Health, and Hospice showed us understanding, respect and were there when we needed them.

His unconditional and never changing love is something Shirley will always treasure.

Any memorials may be given to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Cancer Society, or Easter Seals. These were the charities Kent liked to support.