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November 16, 1948 ~ October 6, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old
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Mark Olson, 74, was born in Duluth, Minnesota on November 16, 1948 and went to be with his Lord and Savior in Urbana, Illinois on October 6, 2023. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Lynette; his son, Matthew Olson (Jaime) of Urbana, IL; his daughter Alana Muir (Neil) of Penicuik, Scotland; and three beautiful grandchildren, Marissa, Zachary and Nathaniel all of Urbana, IL. Mark is preceded in death by his parents, Alden and Beulah Olson and his brother, Larry. He lived in Duluth from birth until 2014 when he and Lynette moved to Urbana to be close to one of their beloved children and be able to watch their beautiful grandchildren grow up. Mark graduated from Morgan Park high school in Duluth and started college at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. He then switched to a 2-year course in Highway Technology at the local technology school. He graduated from there in 1970. That same year, he started dating Lynette which culminated with their marriage on August 7th, 1971. A few months after marriage they purchased a house in Proctor, Minnesota where they lived until they moved to Urbana in 2014. His occupation history included several gas stations and a grocery store before he started a 40-year career at St. Louis County. For the first 16 years, he was in the engineering section of the Highway Department. His involvement with computer design moved him to the newly formed IT department. The last five years, before retirement in 2011, he was manager of the PC group. Computers led to repairing them, forming a computer club and speaking at state-wide symposiums. He also collected old, outdated computers. Many people called him when they had a problem and he loved helping them. Mark became a follower of Jesus Christ when he was 16. He was active in church functions and positions most of his adult life. He held the offices of treasurer, financial secretary and Deacon at two of the churches where he was a member. He also served two four-year terms on the statewide board of stewards that included over 130 local churches.His passion for trains, automobiles and computers led to membership in various clubs including the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. He served as the president of the Lake Superior and Mississippi tourist railroad along with other offices on that same railroad. He also qualified as a locomotive engineer and ran everything from a small switch engine to a 4000-hp diesel. He collected model trains and built several train layouts. He restored many wreck-damaged cars and two collector cars. He joined a car club and built and collected model cars. The highlight of his car passion occurred in 1965, when his family was selected to be one of 203 families across the nation to have the use of the Chrysler Turbine car, which was powered by a turbine engine, for three months. He got to drive that car about 5000 miles. It changed his life, and just a year ago he was asked to participate in a documentary on that car that has been stored as one of the 50 cars that were significant and influenced America. Because of his involvement, Jay Leno invited him to drive one of the remaining cars that Jay bought from Chrysler in 2009. His last years at Urbana were less active except for his involvement with the grandchildren. Shortly after moving to Urbana, Mark and Lynette became members and regular attenders of Twin City Bible Church. He also joined the local train club and the train museum in Monticello, Illinois. A memorial service will be held on November 11, 2:00, at Twin City Bible Church in Urbana.