Robert (Bob) Lee Olson


March 23, 2022

Robert (Bob) Lee Olson

Robert (Bob) Lee Olson took his first breath on earth September 18, 1938 in Sayre, PA, and his last on March 11, 2022 in Anacortes, WA.

Bob found great pleasure enjoying his love of sky, sea, and land at an early age. He grew up in beautiful Elmira, New York where his playground included the lovely Finger Lakes, the Thousand Islands, Watkins Glen Racing, and Harris Hill, home to many glider plane enthusiasts. Lots of time spent hanging around the “fly boys” often got him free rides in exchange for helping with maintaining their soaring vehicles. Bob fulfilled his life-long dream of getting his private pilot’s license in 1973 while living in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley, logging hundreds of hours in the skies.

Being on the water brought peace and pleasure from an early age. A career move from upstate NY to Utah presented a challenge for someone who enjoyed power boats, but Bob found his way to the water. To his delight, Bob discovered the beauty of southern Utah and Lake Powell, a boater’s heaven on earth. He enjoyed many summers at Flaming Gorge, where he and his family explored the lake in his cherished boats, the “Tekla Rose” I, II and III. So driving distances of several hours to be on the water there were worth the effort. Besides, travelling fast on roads less traveled, it satisfied his need for speed.

Bob attended Harpur College of Arts and Science and graduated from Fredonia NY State College. His career included V.P of marketing for Bausch and Lomb, Atkins and Merrill, Milo Baughman Design, including their Environment/West division. A career in sales, marketing and advertising culminated in purchasing Demiris Rice Advertising, a long-established advertising agency, in Salt Lake City. Bob spent twenty years working with some interesting and rewarding clients, among them C. R. England Trucking. A charter boat trip in the ‘90s through the San Juan Islands solidified Bob and Marilynn’s decision to retire to the beautiful Skagit Valley and particularly La Conner in 2006.

Bob is survived by his wife, Marilynn Ehrlich Olson, daughter Kimberly Olson Sieber, daughter-in-law Tamara Schwarting, and grandsons Sam Sieber and Ben Sieber. Louis and Golda Meir, his four-pawed loved ones, grieve the loss of their daddy too. Preceded in death by his mother, Edith Olson Barber, beloved grandmother Tekla Johnson Olson, father Oliver Barber, and former wife Nancy Olson Wootton.

Memorial Services for Bob will take place at a future date. Memorial donations may be given to the San Juan Eagles, which is the Cancer Transportation Fund portion of Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor. Please visit to see more about this worthwhile service. Send donations to San Juan Eagles, 18 Sugar Pea Lane, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

The family hopes you will share your memories of Bob online at


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