Former Platte County Commissioner, Don Olson, age 91, passed away at the Platte County Memorial Hospital on Jan. 31.
Don was born to David Henry Olson and Viola (Pratt) Olson on Jan. 25, 1929, in Buffalo County, Neb. When Don was nine years old, the family moved to the Wheatland area where they started the family farm southwest of Wheatland. Don attended country school and graduated from Wheatland High School in 1946. While in high school, Don participated in football, basketball, and Future Farmers of America. He was state treasurer for FFA. Don attended the University of Wyoming for one year, and then he returned home to help run the family farm.
Don married his high school sweetheart, Nora Kissel, on Aug. 29, 1949. They made their home on the family dairy farm where they raised their children and worked together for sixty-nine years. Don expanded the farm to include a feedlot and a range cattle operation. He enjoyed running a tractor into his late eighties. In addition to farming, Don was also executive director of the Platte County Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service for six years and a real estate broker.
Don cared deeply about his community and served on various local, state, and national boards. He served as a director of the First Wyoming Bank. He was a director of the Wheatland Rural Electric Association and also the Midwest Electric Consumer’s Association. He served on the Platte County ASCS committee, the Farmer’s Home Administration, and the Platte County Weed and Pest board. He also was on the board of directors for Tri-County Development. He served on the Wyoming Board of Agriculture and was the president of that organization for two years.
Don served three terms as a Platte County Commissioner. During this time, he helped the county and Missouri Basin Electric obtain permits and bonds for the Laramie River Power Plant. He also served as vice president and then president of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association. He was Wyoming’s representative in the National Association of County Officers.
Proceeding Don in death were his wife Nora in 2018, his parents, and his sisters: Violet Ryff and Doris Moss.
Don is survived by daughter Diane (Grieg) Schroeder, son David (Sandra) Olson; grandchildren Dawn (Joel) McKee, Scott Schroeder, Chelsea Olson, Lael Olson, and Shelby (Eric) Heatherly; and great grandchildren Eleni McKee, Fletcher McKee, and Grayson Heatherly.
At Don’s request, no services will be held. His ashes will be scattered on the family farm at a later date. The family asks that donations be made in Don’s honor to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org) or to a charity of the giver’s choice.