Food Culinary 04

Norman F Olson, Emeritus Professor

February 8, 1931 ~ May 10, 2020 (age 89)


Norman F. Olson died on May 10, 2020.  He was born in Edmund, Wisconsin on February 8, 1931, the son of the late Irving and Elva Olson.

He served in the United States Army as a lieutenant from 1953-55.  Following his military service, he obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1959.  The next 40 years were spent as a professor in the Food Science Department at the University of Wisconsin.  His research focused on the chemistry, microbiology, and technology of cheese products, food fermentation and microbial metabolism in foods. He served as a reviewer of research papers for several scientific journals.  In 1975, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza, Italy.  Norman was instrumental in organizing the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin and served as its first Director from 1985-1993.  It is the first and largest Center in the nation that focuses on dairy research. 

Following retirement, Norman served individuals in the Wisconsin SeniorCare Prescription Drug Assistance Program and also acted as a Guardian of Person for elderly people.  He assisted in the Second Harvest food truck delivery program each week for the Bethel Lutheran Food Pantry.  For many years, he coordinated volunteers from Bethel Lutheran Church to work at Madison’s annual Brat Fest to raise money for the Bethel Horizons Church Camp in Dodgeville, WI.

Norman is survived by his wife Darlene; the two were married in 1957.  He is survived by two children, Kristin (Richard) Bransford; Eric Olson, and three grandchildren, Daniel and Sarah Bransford, and Anika Olson.

Memorials can be made to the UW Carbone Cancer Center, Bethel Horizons Camp in Dodgeville and the Ice Age Trail Alliance in Cross Plains, WI.


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