Former Port Washington middle-school teacher Gordon Olson, 71, died of complications from brain cancer at his Saukville home on Monday, March 12.
Mr. Olson was born in Baldwin on Dec. 18, 1940, the son of Elmer Kafus and Lucille Hamilton Olson.
He graduated from Baldwin High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
On Oct. 13, 1962, he married Linda Brandt. The couple settled in Fredonia, where they raised their family.
Mr. Olson was a sixth-grade teacher of math and science at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Port Washington for 37 years. He retired in 1999.
“He wasn’t the kind of person who brought his work home with him, preferring to spent time with his family when away from school. But he always insisted that his children show their teachers the utmost respect,” said his son Brad Olson.
Mr. Olson was known for his innate kindness.
“To a person, whether it was students who knew him from school or people who knew him from the tennis courts, they all said he was the nicest man ever.”
Mr. Olson was especially proud of his Norwegian heritage, belonging to the Sons of Norway and taking part in various activities promoting his ethnic roots.
He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Grafton.
Mr. Olson enjoyed participating in various sports from childhood through the end of his life.
In retirement, Mr. Olson and his wife spent winters in Arizona and formed many close friendships there.
He is survived by his wife Linda of Saukville; children Mark (Kim) of Hayward, Amber (Dan) Kreif of Belgium and Brad (Amy) of Saukville; and grandchildren Daniel (Aleyna) Kreif, Shyla Kreif, Cameron Kafus Kreif, Nicholas Olson, Courtney Olson, Eli Brandt Olson and Nolan LeRoy Olson.
Mr. Olson is further survived by his sister Doris (Ron) Taylor of Bloomington, Minn.
Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at Grace Lutheran Church, Grafton. The Rev. Paul Bulgerin will officiate.
Visitation will be at the church from 1:30 p.m. until the service.
Burial will be at the Holden East Norwegian Cemetery in Port Washington.
The family asks that donations be made to the Froedtert Foundation, Brain Tumor Research Program, 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee 53226.
Arrangements are being handled by Eernisse Funeral Home, Port Washington.