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Norman Olsen

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Funeral services for Norman Olsen will be held Wednesday, December 27, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Morris with Reverends AJ Kluver and Michael Hanson officiating.  A visitation will be Tuesday evening, from 5-7:00 p.m. with a prayer service and time of sharing at 6:45 p.m. at the Starbuck Funeral Home in Starbuck, and will continue one hour prior to the services at the church Wednesday.  Burial will be at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Cemetery in Benson, Minnesota.

Norman Peter Olsen was born February 15, 1932 to Ole Petter and Anne Marie (Erickson) Olsen in Union City, New Jersey.  He was baptized April 10, 1932 at St. Olaf Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Weehawken, New Jersey, where he was also confirmed in 1946 by the Rev. T.J. Alvestad.  At the age of 10, Norman’s dad tragically died in a work accident, a loss that Norman grieved for his whole life.  Norman attended Roosevelt Elementary School in Union City, NJ, and later graduated from Union Hill High School, Union City in January 1950.

Norman’s mom said that she started seeing his Bible at his bedside, an early indication that he was thinking of being a pastor.  Norman had the ordained ministry in mind when he decided to attend a Lutheran college and chose Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.  He graduated from college with a double major in philosophy and psychology.  He entered Luther Seminary in the fall of 1954 and interned for two years at First Lutheran Church, Decorah, IA.  He graduated with his Master of Divinity Degree in 1959.

In his first year of college, Norman met Ramona Dalen whom he married five years later June 26, 1955 meaning they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary this year.  Norman and Ramona were wonderful parents to their four children – Peter, Stephanie, Andrew, and Jennifer.  They have also been blessed with 13 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.  Norman was a loving grandfather, making each child feel special.

Norman was a good carpenter.  He designed and built the family cabin on Stuart Lake.  Yet mostly he used his carpenter skills to build or remodel all sorts of things for family and others.  Norman also enjoyed hunting, fishing, writing, and being with his family and friends.

Norman thrived in his work as a pastor and was known for his strong preaching.  He served the following congregations in southwestern Minnesota:  Cyrus and Nora Lutheran Parish, Cyrus and Kensington; Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, Benson; Christ Lutheran Church, Glencoe; Grace Lutheran Church, Luverne; Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Mankato; and Bethel Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie.  Right before retiring, he served as a part-time interim synod minister for the Southwestern Minnesota Synod whose office is in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.

Norman retired November 1, 1994.  He and Ramona moved to the Dalen Century Farm in rural Starbuck, Minnesota which he had been remodeling for a few years.  He would occasionally pulpit supply for area churches.  He became very involved in the Word Alone Network and helped found and lead the West Central WordAlone Chapter.  He was also a founding board member on the ReClaim Hymnal Committee that produced  the ReClaim Hymnal in 2013.  He authored prayers, worship materials, and hymns.  One of his hymns, “When Seed Falls On Good Soil”, is published in hymnals in the United States, Canada, and Japan.

After a slow decline in health, Norman died Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at the CentraCare-St. Cloud Hospital surrounded by 24 family members.  He was 91 years old.

He is survived by his wife, Ramona; four children: Peter (Linda McClure) Olsen, Stephanie (Randy) Freund, Andrew (Rosine) Hermodson-Olsen, and Jennifer (Kyle) Gylland; 13 grandchildren: Matthew Olsen, Michael Olsen, Rachel (Aaron) Logan, Steven (Jennifer) Freund, Joseph Dalen, Teresa (Andrew) Bettmann, Jessica Hermodson-Olsen, Elizabeth Hermodson-Olsen, Daniel Hermodson-Olsen, Jens (Ingrid) Gylland, Anders (Lara) Gylland, Siri Gylland, and Signe (Tyler) Olson; 13 great-grandchildren: Makenzie, Haylee, Hudson, Colbie, Maclin, Eli, Isaiah, Lauren, Brevyn, Rebecca, Lars, Nils, and Quinn; three nieces, and one nephew: Suzanne Jorgenson, Karl (Cathy) Olsen, Kari (John) Golden, and Kirsten (Mark) Sletten; and also by cousins and other relatives in Norway.  He was preceded in death by his parents; three siblings and their spouses: Elinor (Harold) Jorgensen, Donald (Karen) Olsen, and Raymond Olsen; and by cousins in Norway.

Starbuck Funeral Home in Starbuck, Minnesota is in care of arrangement for Norman.  To send condolences to the family, on-line, visit

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