Ethel “Josey” Josephine Olson passed into eternal life on May 4, 2021, at the age of 95. She was born February 21, 1926 to Lydia and Joseph Bergman of Denair, California. She and her older brother, “Ben” (Enoch), grew up on the small farm on Berkeley Road where their father raised a variety of field crops. There were always eggs to collect, cows to milk and kittens to cuddle. Other than playing with and pretending the kittens were her “babies,” she preferred helping her mother indoors. She learned life-long skills in preparing wonderful farm-fresh meals and baking delicious cookies and desserts. A younger sister, Esther, joined the family when she was 13.
Ethel graduated from Denair High School when she was 17, and after working on a neighboring farm during the apricot harvest, she was hired by the Turlock Journal. When an office job opened at PG&E, Ethel applied for the job and was quickly hired. Following PG&E in Turlock, she began working at Modesto Irrigation District where she retired after many years.
On December 18, 1976, Ethel married Stanley Olson, whom she had known since childhood. She quickly became part of his family and loved his daughter, Phyllis, and son, Ken, and their families. She became a loving grandmother to their children and always had the cookie jar filled for their frequent visits. In later years, there were great-grandchildren to love and new reasons to bake cookies.
During their retirement years, Ethel and Stan enjoyed traveling with their fifth-wheel, camping with friends and exploring sights across the United States. They also made several trips to Sweden to visit cousins and enjoy the homeland of their parents. For the past 7 years, Ethel and Stan have resided at Covenant Village where they have many friends and have received excellent care through these past years. Throughout her life, Ethel was active in a number of churches, teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, and participating in social and study groups. The Evangelical Free Church in Turlock, First Baptist in Modesto and in later years, Cornerstone Covenant in Turlock were important to her in her spiritual journey.
Faith and family were the foundation of Ethel’s life. She will be missed by all who knew her. She will always have a special place in the hearts of those whose lives she so richly blessed. These include her husband, Stanley and his children, Phyllis Manke, her children Melodee (John) and Mark (Gerri): son, Ken Olson and wife Bev, their 3 sons, Steve (Sarah), Brian, Eric (Megan), along with 6 great-grandchildren. She also leaves her sister Esther (George) Lacy and their children, Kevin (Lisa) Lacy, Mark (Kathryn) Lacy and Kristin (Tim) Stein along with 15 Lacy/ Stein great-nieces and nephews; her first niece Carol (Tim) Hodgson, nephews, Randy (Cathy) Bergman and Gary (Colleen) Bergman along with numerous great-great-nieces and nephews. Throughout their lives, her nieces and nephews have cherished their Aunt Ethel. She enriched their lives with her love and special gifts. Ethel was preceded in death by her parents and her brother.
To Ethel we say, thank you for blessing us. Rest in peace, beloved of God.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 10, 2021, at Turlock Memorial Park, 575 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock.
Memorial donations can be made to Covenant Care Hospice, 125 N. Broadway, Suite 1A, Turlock, CA 95380.