Cover photo for Gary Olson's Obituary
Gary Olson Profile Photo
1949 Gary 2023

Gary Olson

October 24, 1949 — March 18, 2023


Gary Stanley Olson, of Madison, passed away in the warm embrace of his wife and daughters on Saturday, 03/18/2023. His 73 years of life were filled with love, laughter, and an extraordinary commitment to his wife, Maryanne, of over four decades.

Gary’s memory lives on in the talents and achievements of his years, which span far beyond this tribute. Gary spent his life on the waters of Lake Mendota. Racing sailboats in the summers of his youth with his brothers and friends grew into relaxing afternoons on his Spindrift Mariner with his wife and daughters. He was an athlete, playing football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and softball. Later in life, he channeled this love for sports into support for his daughters and their friends, coaching and cheering from the stands. He cherished family vacations, from the Gulf shores of Florida to the beaches of Hawaii, and visiting his daughter while she lived in San Francisco. He also enjoyed all Wisconsin has to offer; skiing, hunting, and fishing with his family, and anyone who would join the crew. He took care of everyone around him, cooking in the kitchen and making Saturday morning grocery runs for loved ones. He comforted us with his puns, and made us slightly uncomfortable with his always on-point sense of humor. His quick wit endures in his daughter, Abby. An avid craftsman, he spent many weekends working in the garage, listening to game after game on the radio, pouring his heart into beautiful home remodels and projects for loved ones. Gary’s daughter Chelsea inherited his love for woodworking and design, and is proud to have worked on many projects by his side. Professionally, Gary worked as Project Manager for Daniels Construction and the Renschler Company. He took great pride in his work and loved to show his family the buildings he took part in creating. Every year, he made a point to re-watch his favorite Christmas movies. In his later years, he developed a love for reading, devouring books on history, sports, politics, comedy, and music. Gary always kept whatever he was reading close by to recommend to a friend, or to keep him occupied while his girls kept him waiting.

Gary is survived by his wife Maryanne, and two daughters, Chelsea, and Abigail (Christian). His pride for them was infinite, they are lost without him. In the last two years, Gary became a grandpa to Henry, who he loved beyond measure. The feeling is mutual, and their resemblance is uncanny. He also leaves behind his brother William, niece Erika (Robert), and great-niece Leah. He had great love and admiration for his Olson and Gotzion in-laws, including many brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Julia Belle and Stanley F Olson, his brother James, and nephew, Christopher. Everyone who knew Gary was better for knowing him, as is evidenced by the outpouring of love in the days since his passing. Photos and favorite stories of Gary will keep his loved ones going in the years ahead.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to one of Gary’s favorite charities. These include Special Olympics, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, and Huntington Society. A Celebration of Life will be held at Lake Windsor Country Club on April 15th at 2 PM.

We welcome you to share your memories of Gary here in his tribute wall.

Cress Center

6021 University Ave. Madison

(608) 238-8406

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Olson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Lake Windsor Country Club (Windsor)


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