11-30-2013 - Classmate Linda Tanabe Olson Passed Away
1949 - 2013
It is rare in life to know a soul as caring as Linda Olson. Born January 17, 1949 to Isamu and Kyoko Tanabe in Salt Lake City, Utah, Linda was raised knowing how to serve. She spent her childhood working side-by-side with her parents and brother, Paul, in their family diner, The Lunchbox Cafe. In 1970, after a courtship consisting of one Simon and Garfunkel concert and a few Sunday roasts, she married her eternal companion, Wesley Olson, on May 1 in Eatontown, New Jersey. They were then sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on March 15, 1971. Wes and Linda became the parents to five beautiful children and eleven grandchildren.
Anyone who spent more than two minutes with Linda knows she lived to make her children and grandchildren happy. The relationships she lovingly tailored between them will forever be her greatest legacy. For the past few years, much of Linda's time was devoted to the care of her aunt, Grace Kasai. She relished spending time with lifelong friends Lynn Murray and Jackie Taylor. She loved her adopted kids: Shey (Brett) Christiansen, Kayo (Tyler) Nilsson and grandkids Bailey and Alieta.
Linda worked for many years at Automated Business Products. She loved her ABP family and could always be counted on for donuts, voodoo cold remedies, and the occasional shock treatment. She was a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and spent years serving alongside her dear friend, Pat Christensen, in everything from Relief Society to the nursery. They walked and talked through life together and, as tragic as it seems, it's comforting to know that Linda's last moments were spent in a pair of tennis shoes walking next to Pat.
While we will never understand the physics behind it, Linda managed to spend all her waking hours caring for every family member, friend, and colleague in her life. Those who met her instantly gained a mother, a sister, a best friend and confidant. She was a force of nature in the lives of those she loved, as tangible as gravity, as reliable as the sunrise. She was the guiding star for each of us and, while we take comfort in the knowledge of a joyful reunion one day, we'll struggle in the meantime figuring out what to make for Sunday dinners and who's in charge of the next holiday party.
Her twin daughters Jodi and Jill, her mother Kyoko and father Isamu preceded Linda in death. She is survived by her husband of 43 years Wes; her children Stephanie (Matt) Hamilton, Chris (Wendy) Olson, and Marisa (Dave) Smurthwaite; grandchildren Sierra, Paxton, Trevor, Tristan, Carter, Jordyn, Grayden, Noah, Sam, Oliver, and Eliot; her brother Paul, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 2nd, at 11:00 a.m. at the Garden Heights South Chapel on 2220 Fisher Lane (2935 South). Friends and family may call Sunday evening from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, Salt Lake City and on Monday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 at the church prior to the funeral. Online guest book and direction map at www.holbrookmortuary.com.
Published in Deseret News from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2013