Spencer Lee Olson, 76, of Crookston, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, October 21, 2023. He was born on April 20, 1947 in Crookston, MN.
Spencer was born the only boy of four children to his loving parents, Reuben and Stella (Brule) Olson. From early on in life Spencer had a strong work ethic, working on the farm alongside his father and siblings. In 1965, he graduated from Fertile High School where he was on the wrestling team. Aside from a strong work ethic, Spencer also had a strong determination to never give up. One the biggest highlights of his wrestling days was when he took on a competitor from North Dakota, he ended up winning the match only to find out that he had just beat the North Dakota State Champion. In order to keep him focused, his coach never shared with him the title his competition held.
After high school, Spencer enlisted in the National Guard, of which he was a reserve for several years. In 1969, Spencer met Bonita “Bonnie” Menard, the two were married on April 17, 1971 after two years of courtship at St. Anne’s Church. They shared 19 years together and their union was blessed by the births of their three children: Tina, Jeremy, and Joseph. A few years later Spencer was blessed with his fourth child, Kyle. All of his children will cherish the memories their father has left them with, like driving around in the roadrunner.
After his discharge, and up until 1997, Spencer farmed. He was always looking for something to keep him busy, he could never quite just sit still, he was always on the go and on the road. Anybody that knew him well knew that he loved to drive, whether it was for work or not. After retiring from farming his own land, Spencer began to lend a hand to a few of the local farms in town, such as The Goodyke’s farm. On October 27, 2003, he began driving for Tri-Valley as a volunteer and was only a few days away from celebrating twenty years of serving the organization. In 2002, Spencer moved to Crookston from the farm, where he remained until his passing.
Spencer was a man of many talents, and attributes that his family loved about him. Throughout his children’s lives, they never wondered whether or not they were loved because Spencer made sure to tell them on a daily basis. He passed on his work ethic and love for life to his children, trying to teach them many lessons throughout. One of which was to live every day like your last, Spencer would tell us all that now.
Spencer had many hobbies, a testament to him never being able to sit still for more than ten minutes. He was a very skilled hunter, rarely missing a shot. He also used hunting to instill another one of life’s lesson into his children, which was to “Hurry up, but take your time.” If he wasn’t hunting then you would find him ice spear fishing, both of which were passions of his and an important part of his life. When Spencer was not hunting or fishing, he was tinkering around the house, of thrifting Knick Knacks he loved to collect. When not thrifting, Spencer was out to eat with his family or sending them pictures from his phone. More than anything else, Spencer loved spending time with his fiancé, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
He was a man of faith, integrity and respect. He would share everything, and had the heart of putting others before himself. Spencer had been planning on getting married to his fiancé, Demetrius James, who he once saved from a fishing hole she had fell into. He was calm, gentle, never raised his voice and there was never an argument between them.
A tremendous void will be felt by all of his children and fiancé, as well as all of those who had the privilege to know him, as they mourn this loss in their lives. Even though we mourn, we also celebrate a life well lived and an incredible man who will be greatly missed.
Spencer is survived by his fiancé, Demetrius James of Crookston; Children: Tina, Jeremy (Jen), Joseph (Sara)—all of Crookston, and Kyle (Angie) of Grand Forks, ND; Grandchildren: Chelsea, Draven, Hoyt, Alexis, Ayden, Austyn, Ashtyn, and Dawson; Great-Grandchildren: Jasta, Rayelle, Mystique, and Kazelyn; Sister’s: RaMona (John) Haugen of St. Louis Park, MN, Sonja (Steve) Bates of California, and Constance of Detroit Lakes, MN.
Spencer was preceded in death by his parents, Reuben and Stella Olson.
There will be a prayer service from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, with the prayer service beginning at 7, on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home. The funeral service honoring Spencer’s Life will also be at Stenshoel-Houske on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 3:00 PM with a one-hour visitation prior. Live streaming will be available for those interested. Please visit www.stensholhouske.com for more information.