Bernadell Olson

Bernadell (Bernie) Bryant Olson was born February 10, 1939 in Cass Lake, MN. She moved to Bemidji with her family, graduated from Bemidji High School, and found work in town as a secretary. Bernie was always looking for long term stability. She found a new job with the county extension service which transformed into a position at Bemidji State University. When BSU became part of the University of Minnesota the timing was auspicious in that she had just married the love of her life, Roger J. Olson. They were married on May 22, 1976 and the family soon moved to St. Louis Park. At this time, Bernie transferred into an administrative assistant position at the Twin Cities campus of the University.She remained working at the U for the next 28 years. Bernie prided herself on her ability to make things run the right way-HERS. Not only was she impeccably organized, she made sure that the 56 faculty, 25 staff members, and 1370 students within the English department flew in formation as well. Once Roger retired, they spent their time visiting relatives, playing at casinos, and exploring golf courses around the country. Bernie and Roger were inseparable and traveled extensively. They spent many winters on South Padre Island. The COVID lockdown in the spring of 2020 upended their world. Bernie and Roger went from living independently to needing 24-hour care due to the confusion the new paradigm of living caused. Bernie died of a massive stroke on December 14, 2020 with Roger holding her hand. Bernie is survived by her husband, Roger J. Olson; son, Steven Schulstrom (Rita Vavrosky); grandchildren, Julie, Laura, Mary, Margaret, Samuel, and Edward; great-granddaughter, Caroline; brother, Gerald (Jackie) Bryant; sisters, Elaine (Ron) Banasik and Deanne Knutson; many nieces, nephews and cousins. Bernie is preceded in death by her father, Samuel C. Bryant; mother, Leona Carpenter Bryant; brother, Stanley Bryant. A memorial service is planned for April 7, 2021, please call Mattson Funeral Home & Cremation Service for details 651-464-3556. Burial at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery. Many heartfelt thanks to the caregiving staff at Parmly and Ecumen Hospice. 651-464-3556 www.mattsonfuneralhome.com


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