Arlie Eugene Olson

September 20, 1928 – August 29, 2019

On August 29, 2019, Arlie Eugene Olson, Lake Mills, loving husband and gifted father, passed away at the Lake Mills Care Center at the age of 90. A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3, at Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, with Pastor Melinda McCluskey officiating.  Military honors by the Otto Chose Post #235 will be done following the church service. Visitation will be Monday, Sept. 2, from 5-7 p.m. at Mittelstadt Funeral Home, Lake Mills, and will continue one hour prior to the church service on Tuesday. Following the funeral, cremation will take place and Arlie’s ashes will be buried Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 11 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church Cemetery, rural Belmond.

Arlie was born Sept. 20, 1928, at his grandparent’s farm near Ogdensburg, Wis., to parents Hanford and Alice (Johnson) Olson.  He was baptized and confirmed at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Iola, Wis., and graduated from Iola High School in 1946.  From 1946-1948 Arlie attended Waldorf College, Forest City, where he sang in the Waldorf College Concert Choir.  After working as a cabinet maker, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1950.  The following year, Arlie married his sweetheart, Joan Margaret Mehus of Belmond.  During the Korean War, he was sent to Germany as part of the U.S. occupation army, serving as a supply sergeant, and was later discharged in 1952.  An electronics correspondence course set him on the path of television sales and service, and in 1959 he started his own business, Olson TV and Radio, located in Lake Mills. Arlie retired from electronics in 1990, after which he and Joan enjoyed traveling and spending winters in Arizona, Texas and Alabama.

Arlie had a passion for all kinds of woodworking, and whatever he built was done with precision. He also loved music, and he combined these two passions to create fine handcrafted musical instruments such as sweet harps and hammered dulcimers.  Blessed with a beautiful singing voice, Arlie was a soloist for many weddings, funerals and church services.  He was an active member of Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, serving on a number of boards, singing in the choir, and directing the choir for several years.  Arlie helped develop the Lake Mills Volunteer Ambulance service, was a charter member and served as its first president. At age 90, he was still a “techie”, as he enjoyed managing his laptop, iPad, and iPhone.  He was known as a man of faith, a man whom many people regarded as a friend.  There was a special relationship between Arlie and his grandchildren, and they loved him dearly.

Arlie is survived by his wife, Joan; son, Steve Olson (Nancy), Forest City; daughter. Christine Phelps (Steven), Maplewood, Minn.; grandchildren: Jesse Olson (Melanie), Joice; Jon Olson (Virginia), Davenport; Michael Olson, Forest City; Lee Galland (Pamela), Grant, Minn.; Allison Schenian (Ryan), Woodbury, Minn.; Taylor Phelps, Honolulu, Hawaii; and his sisters: Janet Mehus and Ardelle Shanklin, Iola, Wis.; along with seven great-grandchildren; several cousins, nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hanford and Alice; and infant twin sons, Daniel and David.

Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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