Cover photo for Walter Leroy Olson's Obituary
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Walter Leroy Olson

December 24, 1930 — June 6, 2023

Mt. Pleasant

Walter Leroy Olson

Walter Leroy Olson, 92, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, husband of Greta Jordan Olson, entered into eternal rest Tuesday, June 6, 2023. His Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at 3-5 pm, in the Moultrie Room at South Bay at Mount Pleasant, 1400 Liberty-Midtown Drive, Mt. Pleasant, SC. A Remembrance and interment will be held August 5, 2023 at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, New Jersey. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Mount Pleasant Chapel.

Walter was born December 24, 1930, in Davenport, Iowa, son of the late Elmer Olson and the late Bertha Paustian Olson.  From an early age he showed athletic prowess that would serve him well on the Davenport (Iowa) High School baseball team, and then following high school, for a stint with the Appleton Cubs of the Chicago Cubs minor league system.  From 1948-1953, he served proudly in the US Navy and was a Korean War veteran, sailing mostly on the USS Diamond Head based in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.  Walter always looked on his Navy days with fondness.

After the Navy, Wally attended the University of Iowa.  He was a lifelong fan of the Hawkeyes football team and attended their first Rose Bowl win over Oregon on January 1, 1957.  Following his graduation, Wally moved to New York City to pursue a career as an advertising and marketing director.  Amongst his jobs during his long and varied career were tenures at the Wall Street Journal, American Can Corporation, the Hearst Corporation, and CMP Publications.

Starting as an avid golfer in his 20’s and 30’s, Wally took up tennis in the 1970’s, a sport which became his lifelong athletic passion and ultimately led to his membership on the Board of the Summit (NJ) Tennis Club (as well as many family vacations centered around tennis).

Football also led to Walter meeting the love of his life, Greta Jordan, when both were taking a ferry to attend the Penn State (Greta’s alma mater) at Army football game on October 10, 1959.  The couple were married the next year on June 25, 1960.  Children soon followed:  Jon in 1963; and Christina in 1966.  Wally was a devoted and encouraging father who emphasized the importance of a can-do attitude and enthusiasm.

While not a musician himself (although he could plunk out Red River Valley on the piano, if required), Walter’s life was marked by a deep appreciation for jazz.  He attended hundreds of jazz events, compiling a wide-ranging library of records, and you always knew when he was in his home office by the swing music playing in the background.  In retirement he and Greta went on many jazz related cruises and vacations.

Retiring from work in 2000, Wally, never one to be idle, continued his activities in the community as Treasurer for his condo association and getting involved in local politics.  He did take enough time off in retirement for he and Greta to travel extensively, an activity they had largely postponed while raising a family.  He also spent countless cherished hours with his grandchildren:  Matthew, Luke, Grace, and Kristina.

Walter had been a resident of South Carolina since August 2014.

He will be remembered for the way he loved his family, honored his country, and worked to make every community he was involved in better.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Greta; his children, Jon Olson (Anne) of Daniel Island, SC and Christina Olson of Summit, NJ; and four grandchildren, Matthew, Luke, Grace, and Kristina.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org/donate.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Walter Leroy Olson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Remembrance and Interment

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Calvary Episcopal Church

31 Woodland Ave, Summit, NJ 07901

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