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Obituary of Jerry N. Olson, 79 

jerry olsonNo services planned at the family’s request

– Jerry N. Olson passed away peacefully on July 18, 2022, in Prescott, Arizona, surrounded by his family. He was born in Atascadero, California on June 2, 1943. He was a graduate of Atascadero High School, Class of 1961.

Jerry began his career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now CAL FIRE) in 1962. He worked for the state for a total of 31 years. He worked all over San Luis Obispo County and was promoted to Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp in Amador County in December of 1972. Jerry received a medical retirement in June of 1993 after he was injured on a fire training exercise.

Following his retirement, Jerry and his wife Carol spent the better part of 20 years “on the road” in their RV. They loved traveling along the Oregon coast and spent several summers as volunteers in Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Acadia National Park, and Calf Creek Campground in Grand Staircase National Park. They also traveled to Mexico, Canada, Alaska, Peru, and all but five of the states in the lower 48.

Jerry’s greatest joy and passion was working with the Wood Angels. Jerry and Carol eventually moved back to Pioneer between travels. That was when Jerry noticed a sign on the bulletin board at the local IGA grocery store that Ralph Vogel had posted, wanting help for the Wood Angels. Jerry was so excited about the prospect of helping people that he spent all the time he could at the Pioneer cemetery splitting wood, while Ralph and Larry Reed did the deliveries. When Ralph passed away, the Wood Angels were no longer able to use the cemetery for the wood yard. Jerry offered the use of his commercial property to be used by the Wood Angels. Bill Albers, John Dunn, Nathan, and Leonard were also tireless workers. With the help of Ryan Gillaspie and many other volunteers, the Wood Angels has become what it is today.

Jerry was forced to give up the work he loved so much, volunteering for the Wood Angels, after suffering a heart attack and open-heart surgery in December 2018. He and Carol moved to Arizona in 2019. He has since suffered numerous health issues and was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer in June of 2022.

His father, Harvie Olson, was a Civil Engineer with San Luis Obispo County. Harvie lived in Atascadero most of his life and died in 2010. His mother, Patty Olson, was a homemaker and currently resides in a retirement home in Paso Robles, California. She is 97. Jerry married Judy Finley in 1966. Tragically, Judy was killed in a car accident near Pine Grove in 1978. Jerry is survived by their three children: Jaylyn Stahley of Jackson, California; Brice Olson (Cheryl) of Salem, Oregon; and Steve Olson (Jennifer) of Phoenix, Arizona.

Jerry married Carol Cash in December 1980. Jerry had two step-children: Shawn Cash (Renee) of Auburn, California; and Terrence Cash, who is deceased. He has five grandchildren: Tayler Hall, Eva Olson, Addison and Alaina Cash, and Ryan Cash. Jerry had three great-grandchildren: Milo, Braven and Ember.

He is survived by his loving wife Carol; his brother Jon Olson (Anne) of King City, California; and their children and grandchildren. His sister, Ruth Ann, also died in a car accident, at the age of 3, when Jerry was 4. He has several cousins in Atascadero and Oregon.

If you wish, donations may be made in honor of Jerry to The Wood Angels. At the family’s request, no services are planned.

-From the Ledger Dispatch.

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