Debbi R. W. (Longland) Olson, 65, passed away Jan. 12, 2019, at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, Calif., from complications of pancreatitis.
Debbi was born Jan. 4, 1954, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Upon completion of high school, Debbi joined the Air Force Reserves, serving several years.
With money earned through her service and several other jobs, she was able to complete college, earning her teaching degree. Later she would also complete a master’s degree and a principal’s credential.
Debbi adored her students and touched so many lives over her 32-year career in the Oak Harbor School District.
In 1976, in Coeur d’Alene, Debbi married Raymond Hanshew, and travels with the Navy commenced.
In 1985, while they were stationed in Pensacola, Fla., the joy of Debbi’s life was born, their daughter Megan.
Shortly after, in 1986, the Navy moved them to Oak Harbor, where Debbi’s career took off and Megan was raised.
Debbi was so multifaceted from her teaching, to supporting her daughter and students in any and all activities, to crafting, to gardening, to her cats, to reading groups, to leadership in Longaberger baskets sales and mentorship, to traveling, to being a very active Kiwanis Club member.
Then there were her beloved Seahawks. She was one wild fan, following them all over.
Through Kiwanis, Debbi volunteered throughout the community, but also brought the strength of this organization into the lives of so many students.
She was the founder of the K-Kids at Crescent Harbor Elementary School.
She helped as liaison for the organization to stand up a Builders Club at North Whidbey Middle School so that her K-Kids could continue on with their service to the community and progress to the Oak Harbor High School Key Club.
She later founded the Oak Harbor Intermediate School Builders Club.
Debbi’s motto was to “choose kindness” and through her involvement in these clubs she established a forum to encourage so many children to choose kindness, too.
Debbi was such a huge Seahawks fan. She was in San Jose to visit a dear friend and watch her beloved Seahawks play the 49ers when she took ill.
Prior to the illness, she was already planning her retirement so that she could attend more games. She especially wanted to more easily be able to enjoy all of the pre- and post-game festivities and extend her involvement in the state-wide Seahawkers Fan Club.
Debbi is survived by her daughter Megan (Longland) Norberg and her husband Michael Norberg, plus two sisters, Barbara Jones and Paula Longland of Idaho.
On March 2, 2019, there will be a celebration of Debbi’s life at 2:12 p.m., a weirdly specific time, at the CPO Club, 1080 W. Ault Field Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
Seahawk color attire is the suggested apparel. Please, in lieu of flowers, consider donating to WAIF, the Whidbey Animals Improvement Foundation, P.O. Box 1108, Coupeville, WA 98239. This is where Debbi adopted her beloved cat, Russell Wilson III.
Feel free to donate via checks or cash, any canned cat food, or Costco brand dry kibble and Costco brand litter in Debbi’s name. Thank you.