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Gary Lee Olsen
May 18, 1946 ~ July 26, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
Gary Olsen, age 77, died peacefully on July 26, 2023, surrounded in love by his family and the amazing nurses and CNA's at Piatt County Nursing Home. Gary is survived by his wife, Michele, sons Christopher, Ryan and Brandon and his grandchildren, Cayden, Sidney, Sebastian, Nathan and Makayla. He loved his family deeply and took great pride in them.
Gary was a Renaissance Man. He was a father, grandfather, architect, humanitarian, educator, Rotarian, photographer, world traveler and Chicago Bandstand dancer.
As the owner of Olsen and of Associates Architects, Gary designed libraries, churches, and public buildings as well as private homes and campus apartments.
Gary also served his community as President of the C-U Sunrise Rotary, Champaign Preservation Council, CC Historical Museum, Champaign County American Institute of Architects, and CCDC. He was the Director of the Illinois Arts Council Bi-Centennial Architectural Celebration. Gary was the Architect in Residence for schools in Champaign-Urbana through the Archi-Teacher program, and he also read to children in Head Start.
Gary Olsen received two Presidential Service Awards for his work as Ambassador to Shelterbox, an international Disaster Relief Project that provides shelter and dignity to people suffering from storms, earthquakes, war, and famine.
A Celebration of Gary Olsen's life will be held in October at the former Windsor Swim Club property in Urbana, Illinois. This will be an open charity event for Shelterbox USA, in Gary's honor and will include music and dancing.