Cover photo for Dr. Robert E. Olson's Obituary
Dr. Robert E. Olson Profile Photo
1947 Dr. 2022

Dr. Robert E. Olson

March 23, 1947 — October 10, 2022

Dr. Robert E. Olson, 75, of Sioux City died October 10, 2022 after a long illness, with his best friend and longtime caregiver Cathy Olson by his side.

The family has arranged a Celebration of Life on Friday, October 21 at Briar Cliff University, St. Francis Center beginning with a prayer service at 6pm.

The family would like to thank the Bickford Assisted Living and hospice staff for their care and compassion.

The fourth of five siblings, Bob was born in Spokane, WA to Howard and Verle (Spore) Olson. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by brothers, David and Eric, and twin sister Cathy.

Bob is survived by his former spouse, Cathy Olson; their loving children, Timothy (Erin Cavanaugh) and Micah (Danielle Conroy); brother, Howard; sister-in-law, Darlene; and many nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends.

Bob was a 1965 graduate of Great Falls High School and a 1969 graduate of Great Falls College–Montana State University. While earning his M.S. in Physiology from the University of North Dakota, he met Cathy and, despite having a first date of mini golf in which Bob displayed his infamous competitive streak, they married and moved to PA where Bob became an administrator at Tabor Home, a residence for dependent school-aged children.

His desire to help others and love of teaching inspired Bob to earn his PhD in Anatomy from the University of Minnesota in 1981, which led to his 30-year career as a Professor of Biology at Briar Cliff University.

At Briar Cliff, Dr. Bob was a well-loved and respected teacher, mentor, and friend, guiding generations of students now dedicated to serving their communities. Earning numerous awards and distinctions, his work filled him with great satisfaction and leaves a legacy not soon forgotten.

Whether rocking a Scandinavian folk song on his accordion, hosting movie nights, brewing and imbibing craft beer, telling irreverent jokes, sipping single-malt whiskey, or (sometimes ruthlessly) playing board games, Bob was the life of the party. To borrow a Norwegian proverb, “Good fortune is loaned, not owned.” Although not long enough, we are lucky for the time we shared. Skol.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or to an educational institution of your choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Robert E. Olson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration Of Life

Friday, October 21, 2022

6:00 - 6:30 pm (Eastern time)

Briar Cliff University, St. Francis Center

3303 Rebecca Street, Sioux City, IA 51104

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