Marian Jane Nordos Olsen, 90, of Naperville, Illinois, passed away peacefully at 3:30AM on March 13, 2010, at Sunrise Assisted Living Center following a stroke on March 3, 2010. Funeral services will be 11:00AM on Friday, March 19, 2010, in First United Methodist Church with visitation at the church one hour before the service. Burial will be in North Fork Cemetery. Dawson & Wikoff North Chapel, US Highway 51 North is assisting the family with arrangements.
Marian was born on March 30, 1919, in Canby, Minnesota, the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. William Nordos. She was a graduate of Fitchburg Teachers College and taught elementary school for several years-including a two-room schoolhouse in Amherst, MA. On October 14, 1944, she married Rev. J. Arnold Olsen in Worchester, MA. Together they served churches in Vermont and Connecticut before moving to Illinois. There they served Methodist churches in Bartonville, Buda-Sheffield, Springfield-Asbury and Kumler, Bradford-Boyd's Grove, Marshall, Lacon, and Decatur-Trueblood and First UMC of Decatur. Marian was active in Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, volunteered at William Harris Elementary School in Decatur, the Dove Mother-to-Mother program, and played the piano for nursing homes sing-a-longs. She was very active in United Methodist Women where she served positions on both the local and district levels and in School of Missions. She was awarded the Valiant Woman Award from Church Women United in 2001. She demonstrated her deep faith by reaching out to many of God's people in the world and in her community. For some years she was the unofficial "Grandma" to the neighborhood children on East Drive.
Marian and Arnold traveled all over the world to their ancestral homeland of Norway, to World UM Conferences in Singapore and Brazil, and sailed on freighter trips that took them to Africa and India. She loved writing letters, needlework, quilting, and playing games with her family.
Surviving is her sister, Ruth Moore of Concord, MA., her daughters Judith (James) Allen of Naperville, IL, Martha Olsen (Robert Nolan) of Madison, WI, and Nancy Olsen of Maryville, TN; and grandchildren Amanda Allen of Plainfield, IL, John Nolan of St. Louis, IL, Kevin Nolan of Maryville, TN, and Emily Allen of Naperville, IL. Special friends include Sr. Marianne Nolan of Decatur, and Ashok (Bhadra) Desai of Columbia, MD and Vijay (Dinky) Sehgal, Naperville, IL , who first joined the family as international students. She was preceded in death by her husband Arnold, her parents William and Serena, her brother Wilbur, and an infant brother.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First United Methodist Church of Decatur, Church Women United, or Habitat for Humanity.
Obituary written by family members.