James D. Olson

July 25, 1925-March 6, 2019

James D. Olson, 93, of

Minot and Mesa, AZ, died

on March 6, 2019 at his

winter home in Mesa.

James Derald Olson was

born on July 25, 1925 in

Guthrie, ND to Clarence

and Rose (Beutler) Olson.

He was raised and educat-ed in Minot and graduat-

ed from Minot High

School in 1943. He en-

tered the U.S. Navy in

September of 1943, at-

tended radio school at the

University of Illinois and

served in the Pacific

Theatre of Operations of

World War II until his

honorable discharge in

April of 1946. Following

his discharge, he returned

to Minot where he began

employment with the

Great Northern Railroad

as a brakeman. He was

promoted to conductor in

1957 and retired from the

Burlington Northern Rail-

road in 1987 after 41


Jim served as local

chairman for the United

Transportation Union and

as president for the Rail-

road Safety Committee.

He was also a licensed

real estate salesman for

Minot Realty beginning in

1962 and continued with

Coldwell Banker as a

broker/associate. He re-

tired as a real estate agent

in 2014 at the age of 89.

Jim married Audrey

Warke on November 27,

1948 at First Lutheran

Church in Minot. They

made their home in Minot

where they raised their

three daughters. In addi-

tion to residing in Minot,

Jim and Audrey main-

tained a lake home at

Lake Metigoshe for 48

years and a winter home

in Mesa, AZ for 20 years.

Jim especially enjoyed

playing cards, playing

pool and traveling.

Jim’s loving family in-

cludes: his wife of 70

years, Audrey; children:

Rosanne Olson (Dr. Ed-

ward “Ted” McMahon Jr.)

of Seattle WA, Nancy

Grueneich of Mesa and

Gloria Rogers (David) of

Fort Mills, SC; grandchil-

dren: Shane Grueneich

(Shari) and

great-grandson Jacob, and

James Rogers (Brie) and

nieces and nephews: Bon-

nie Weninger (Leo), Mar-

garet Ann Moore, Carol

(Don) Cook, Clark (Gaya-

tri) Moore, Craig (Kay)

Moore, Mary (Dave) Felt-


Jim was preceded in

death by: his parents, his

sister and her husband:

Florence and Leonard

Thornby; his brother and

his wife: Richard C. “Bud”

Olson and Lorraine “Sis”

Olson and nephew: Roger


Celebration of the Life

of James D. Olson: Mon-

day, May 20, 2019 at

11:00 a.m. in First Luth-

eran Church, Minot.


Book-Signing: Sunday

from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00

p.m. in the Thomas Fami-

ly Funeral Home, Minot.

Memorials: In lieu of

plants and flowers

memorials are preferred

to an organization of the

donor’s choice.

Those wishing to sign

the online memorial regis-

ter or share memories and

condolences are invited to

use the expressions of

sympathy section at