Dec. 26, 1931 — Feb. 6, 2016
Winifred Jean Olson, 84, a former Astoria resident, passed away at home in Albany, Oregon, on Feb. 6, 2016, at age 84. She was born Dec. 26, 1931, in Burns, Oregon, to William and Norma (Cook) Schuster. The family later moved to Ashland, where Wini graduated from high school in 1949.
Wini received her registered nurse’s training at Emanuel Hospital in Portland. It was there she met Curtis Olson, who was recovering from a broken arm. They married on May 2, 1953, making their home in Astoria. Three children followed: Marilyn, Keith and Roxanne. Wini’s youngest sister, Doris, lived with them for several years as well. Astoria interests included membership in Betas, reading, listening to music, cooking and baking, sewing, knitting, crafts and camping.
Wini worked as an obstetrics nurse at both Columbia and St. Mary’s hospitals, helping to bring many Astoria area babies into the world. She later joined Clatsop County Health Department as a family planning specialist, later becoming a women’s health care nurse practitioner.
With a strong desire to see the world, in 1981 Wini took her nursing skills to Saudi Arabia, where she spent seven years in the western city of Taif (famous for its roses). Wini enjoyed many adventures, took up scuba diving, delighted in learning about new cultures, made many friends, and traveled extensively. Two favorite destinations were Sri Lanka and Hungary.
Returning to the U.S., Wini moved to Southern California, where she worked as a nurse practitioner for Los Angeles County and earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from California State University, Long Beach. Ready for more adventures, she returned to Saudi Arabia, this time to King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh. She was there during the first Gulf War, when Scud missiles were falling on the city. Retiring at 65, Wini returned to the U.S., living first in Medford, Oregon, then Goodyear, Arizona, and in 2009, she moved to Albany.
She was predeceased by her parents, infant son Russell, and sister Audrey. She is survived by her former husband, Curtis Olson of Astoria; a brother, William (Diane) of Shady Cove, Oregon; a sister, Doris (Larry) McLean of Madras, Oregon; and her three children, Marilyn (David) Mears of Seattle, Keith (Shirley) Olson of Seaside, and Roxanne (Serge) Boen of Albany. She is also survived by three grandsons: Abraham Diekhans-Mears, Robert Olson and August Mears.
A celebration of life is to be held in Astoria at a later date. Details to follow.