Jerome “JJ” Olsen passed away at the age 90 on 9-9-2021 with his wife by his side. Jerome was born to Philip and Irma Olsen (deceased) in Spokane, Washington on June 22, 1931. He was raised in Spokane in the
Hillyard district. He was the oldest of four children. He is survived by his wife,
Sally and one daughter, Linda (Bryan) Klotz of Colorado Springs, CO.
Grandchildren, Kristina (Collin), Jessica (Ian), and Nathan, and eight
great grandchildren. Also surviving are his sis-
ter Phyllis J. Campbell (Don, deceased). Richard (Barbara) and Jim (de-
ceased) and several nieces and nephews.
Growing up in a staunch Norwegian
family they were all active in the Sons of Norway from an early age. He attended school in Spokane and graduated from Rogers High School in 1948. He went onto Gonzaga University to take engineering before entering the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. He got his love for fly-ing while he was still in high school. He worked at Felts Field in Spokane and took his pay out in flying lessons and earned his pilot license at sixteen. He graduated in 1954 from the Navy Academy in Annapolis and went on to attend Flight school to become a Navy pilot, from that time on “the sky was the limit!” He was fierce-ly loyal to his country. A very proud American. He served in the military for 28 years. He saw much of the world at that time, mostly from high above. He was a Navy pilot through and through, logging in just short of 700 US carrier landings.
After retiring from the Navy he spent time with Military and Aviation Companies in New Mexico and Idaho. He also worked for Boeing in Seattle as an instructor to new pilots flying 747s. He belonged to the Society of Test Pilots Association, was active in the Masonic Lodge and Shriners.
He was a dedicated fan of the Mariners and the Seahawks. He loved boating in the San Juans Islands and attending air shows with his great Blue Angels. He moved to Oak Harbor in 2013. JJ became involved in the community. He was active in his church, Whidbey Presbyterian Church. He also was involved in the
men’s Bible Study and hosted a couples study every week for six years until Covid hit. The last year of his life he resided at Home Place in Oak Harbor, where he was loved and well taken care of by their loving and capable staff.
While there he came across a saying which he repeated
daily, “Family is for always and forever.” He believed that statement with all his
heart. He lived a full life. He wanted to make it to 90, and that he did. He loved
his Lord first and loved his country and would defend them both to the end.
He will be missed. Memorial services will be held on October 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm at Whidbey Presbyterian Church in Oak Harbor, WA. Internment will be held at Fairmount Cemetery in Spokane, WA on October 11, 2021 at 12:30pm. Donations may be made to Wounded Warriors, Whidbey Presbyterian Church or a charity of your choice, in JJ’s name.