Richard James Olson passed away on Sunday, May 20, 2018, due to complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Richard was born on March 7, 1946 in Washington, DC to John and Clarissa Olson. Rich spent his youth in Newton, Kansas and following graduation from high school moved to Kansas City, Mo. to attend Rockhurst College. It was there that he met the love of his life, Linda Jean Taglia. They were married on February 17, 1968 and had recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Richard graduated from Rockhurst College in 1968 with a degree in economics. Before he could truly choose a career path, Uncle Sam chose him, and he served in the Army from 1969 to 1971.
After the Army came employment at Monsanto Corp., eventually a law degree and admittance to the Missouri Bar Association. Richard also belonged to the Lions’ Club of Overland Park and was a member of the Johnson County Election Board. However, the organization closest to Richard’s heart was the Golden Retriever Club where he was not only a member, with his wife, but a past president. An owner of multiple golden retrievers over the years, he and Linda trained these dogs for show and for service, but they were beloved family members as well.
Richard will be remembered for many things – love of cooking, not to mention eating; his laughter; his jokes where the punch line sometimes got lost on the way; and who will ever forget his renditions of “Barbara Ann”?! But his family will remember him for his love and he will be sorely missed. The night before he passed away, he cradled Linda’s face in his hands and told her that she had always been his best friend. No sweeter love than that!
He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, John.
He is survived by his wife, Linda, son Raymond Olson, daughters Lauralyn Salitto and Rachael (Justin) Ishikawa, granddaughters Kendra Salitto and Ryann Lewis, sisters Mary Lynn Snyder and Ann Robins, brothers David Olson and Tony Olson, and nieces, nephews, in-laws, friends and, of course, Dazzle, Mac, and Sleigh, the beloved dogs.