Charles Olsen

Mt. Vernon

Charles “Charlie” Olsen, 81, of Mt. Vernon, passed away Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Mt. Vernon. 

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 22, at Salem Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon. Burial will be in Mt. Vernon Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Charles Richard Olsen was born on Aug. 4, 1942, in Mitchell, to Gilbert “Bud” and Pearl (Knox) Olsen. Charlie attended grade school at Hopper School in rural Plankinton. He graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1961. 

Charlie married Roberta “Bertie” Pollard on June 9, 1962, at the Salem Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon. From this loving, 61-year marriage came three children: Rick, Sherri, and Kristi. Charlie was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He loved attending his grandchildren’s events and rarely missed a game or event. 

Following high school, Charlie worked at Armour Creameries in Mitchell and then drove a milk truck. Beginning in 1966, Charlie worked for the South Dakota Department of Transportation in Mitchell, where he was the parts manager. He retired from the DOT in 2001 after 35 years. On top of working at the DOT, Charlie began selling Pioneer Seed in Mt. Vernon in 1975 and did so until 2009. Charlie took great pride in serving the farmers of the Mt. Vernon area and the trust they had in him to plant what was best for their fields. All this time, Charlie also operated the family farm. 

Charlie was an avid supporter of all Mt. Vernon athletics and was heavily involved in the community. He served on the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department for over fifteen years. He also served on the Mt. Vernon City Council, Salem Lutheran Church Council, and the Hopper Township Board at various times throughout his life. In 2015, Charlie and Roberta were inducted into Mt. Vernon’s Heroes’ Field Courtyard for their community involvement. Charlie loved being outdoors – farming, checking fields, hunting, and fishing.  

Charles is survived by his wife, Roberta of Mt. Vernon; son, Rick (Maria) Olsen of Mt. Vernon; daughters, Sherri (Eric) Denning of Mt. Vernon and Kristi Olsen of Wessington Springs; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; his sister, Darlene (Tom) Schultz of Freeport, Ill.; stepbrother, Duane (Mary) Malde of Mt. Vernon; brother-in-law, Robert Pollard of Mt. Vernon; and his nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters-in-law, Mildred Gritzmacher and Marian Powers.

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