Ray K. “Ole” Olson


Ray K. “Ole” Olson, former Chelan resident, died December 5, 2017 in San Jose, Calif., after an extended struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born in Spokane, Wash, in 1923, moving with his family to Omak then Chelan in the mid-1930’s. After graduating from Chelan High School in 1941, he enlisted in the Navy and was stationed on the USS Solace, a hospital ship assigned to the South Pacific during WWII.

Before entering the Navy he married his high school sweetheart, Annie Rose (Susie) Veroske.  The following year their daughter Vicki Eileen was born, followed by their son John Raymond four years later.

Ray learned the electrical trade while in the Navy and after his discharge worked for Venneberg Electric in Chelan, later becoming partners in the business. He and his wife built their own home in Lakeside. Ray was an active bowler, golfer and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Little Stone Church in Lakeside. Early on, he enjoyed moonlighting as he operated the movie projector at the Ruby Theater.

In 1966, he married Joy Purviance also of Chelan.  They spent a year in Hawaii before moving to San Jose, Calif., where they had since lived. During these years, he was employed by Cupertino Electric, managing their electrical division at the main IBM plant.

After retiring he and Joy enjoyed traveling the U.S., Canada and Mexico in their RV.  He also built a home for them in the Sierra foothills, which they sold so they could continue living in San Jose after the onset of Alzheimer’s.

He was a gentle man who will be missed by his family, neighbors and friends.  

He is survived by his wife Joy of the home; his daughter Vicki (Bob) Carr, son John Olson and grandson Steven Olson Shaw, all of Chelan Wash.; and many nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his parents, four sisters and two brothers.

Services were held, and Ray Olson was interred at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, Calif.

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