Cover photo for John Pershing Olson's Obituary
John Pershing Olson Profile Photo
1918 John 2023

John Pershing Olson

November 19, 1918 — November 9, 2023



John P. Olson, age 104, of St. Cloud and formerly of Willmar, passed away Thursday, November 9, at the V.A. Nursing Home in St. Cloud.


Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, November 17, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery with military honors provided by the Willmar American Legion Post. Arrangements are entrusted to the Peterson Brothers Funeral Home.


John Pershing Olson was born on November 19, 1918, in Graceville, Minnesota, the son of Harry and Ruth (Cocoran) Olson. He grew up in Willmar and graduated from Willmar High School in 1937. On February 11, 1938, John was married to Mayme Lindskoog and they made their home in Willmar and Seattle, Washington. From 1944 to 1946, John served in the U.S. Army in the South Philippines. Following his service in 1946, they returned to Willmar. John was employed as a sheet metal worker at Chappel Central for many years. They later moved to Minneapolis and John worked for over 10 years at Ray N. Welter Heating Company. He retired in 1981 and returned to Willmar. After the passing of his wife, John enjoyed many years with his partner Donna Emberland and her family. John was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion Post, and the Eagle's Club. John enjoyed camping, fishing, and watching wildlife.


He is survived by two grandsons, Jeff (Karen) Olson and Reino Olson; two granddaughters, Risa Olson, and Sheila Claffey; two daughters-in-law, Judy (Bill) Marth and Sharon Olson; as well as Donna’s son, Bruce Emberland; her son-in-law, Jeff Cain; Donna’s grandchildren, Crystal (Tom) Jones, Kimberly Gillis, Kevin (Melanie) Cain, Jessica Bruns, Jami (Ryan) Kaiser, Jobli (Aaron) Heil; as well as many other relatives and friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mayme in 1979; his daughter, Sharolyn; his sons, Terry, and Johnny; two brothers, James, and Jerry; three sisters, Grace, Theresa, and Shirley; his special friend, Donna Emberland and her daughters Linda, Marilyn, and Joan.



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John Olson Program.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 17, 2023

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Peterson Brothers Funeral Home & Cremation Service

700 Becker Ave SW, Willmar, MN 56201

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, November 17, 2023

3:15 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

Fairview Cemetery - Willmar

2827 Gorton Ave NW, Willmar, MN 56201

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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