Mary Olson, age 76, of Reedsville, passed away unexpectedly of non-COVID related health issues on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at her home.
Mary and her twin brother, John, were born on September 20, 1944 in Green Bay to the late James and Helen (Drewiski) Phillips. She was a graduate of Reedsville High School class of 1962. She went on to further her education at the Wisconsin Teachers College in Oshkosh and earned a degree in teaching. Mary worked in the Pulaski School System for a short time before returning to her home in Reedsville as a 1st Grade Teacher. This is a career that Mary lived and loved every day for 44 years. She was strict but fair while offering an imaginative and safe space for her students. Mary’s classroom was a sanctuary for children who oftentimes needed her more than she realized. One of her most favorite things to do was to read to the children, and she could frequently be found in her wooden rocking chair with the children gathered around her listening intently. Her vintage bathtubs helped her students imagine a world outside of their own, and she shaped the lives of every student that she taught. Years later, her former students would stop in and visit, become her student aides, and even follow in her footsteps to become teachers themselves. Mary retired in 2011 and then spent much of her time volunteering at the school reading to the kids, serving lunches, and helping her former colleagues and friends. She also enjoyed hosting parties and gatherings, cooking for people, and watching the Brewers, Packers, Bucks, and Badgers, unless they were losing…then she would turn the tv off! Mary was also very involved with St. Mary’s Catholic Church, later becoming Holy Family Catholic Church, serving on various committees. She was a member of the Parish Council, a lector, and helped at the parish picnic and other functions. Mary spent many, many years on the Reedsville Village Board, the Reedsville Manor Board, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the Economic Development Committee and was coordinator of the village’s Music in the Park in the summer. She truly cherished supporting her community and did everything she could to make Reedsville a great place to live. She married the love of her life John (Jack) Olson on February 11, 1978 in Reedsville and they enjoyed 23 years together. They especially loved traveling, gardening and raising their son Jeff. She fiercely loved her son Jeffrey, and later, his wife Amy and her grandchildren, Jackson, Jacob, and Anna. Her family was her pride and joy. She loved watching youth sports and especially loved watching her grandkids participate in their activities. Many of the kids would simply call her “Grandma Olson”. She became a friend to the other parents and grandparents and she always had candy in her purse ready to give away. Mary was a true spitfire with a heart of gold and made her presence known wherever she was!
Mary is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Amy (Braun) Olson of Cato; grandchildren, Jackson, Jacob, and Anna; her twin brother and sister-in-law, John and Grace Phillips of Dousman; sister-in-law, Kathy Phillips of West Bend; brother-in-law, James Anderson of Oconomowoc; her fur baby, Bella; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband Jack in 2001; parents; brother, Jim Phillips; sister, Alice Anderson; all of the other fur babies, Chickles, Winnie, Greta, Corky, Oreo, Navy, and Molly; and other relatives.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 1, 2021 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Whitelaw. Burial will be at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Reedsville.
Friends may call at the Pielhop Wieting Funeral Home in Reedsville, 15 7th Street, on Sunday, January 31, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The visitation will continue on Monday morning at church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the Mass. DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE, THE FAMILY REQUESTS THAT EVERYONE PLEASE WEAR A MASK AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Online condolences may be made at www.pielhopwieting.com
A memorial fund is being established in Mary’s name.
The family would like to thank the Reedsville Police Department, Reedsville First Responders and Valders Ambulance for the care and compassion shown for Mary. They would also like to thank Mary’s many, many friends for the phone calls, food and friendship given to her, especially these last few months.
The Pielhop Wieting Funeral Homes of Brillion & Reedsville is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.