Olaf Paulson, Jr.: July 14, 1920 – Sept. 14, 2014

October 2014 Posted in People

Olaf Paulson, Jr., who passed away peacefully Sept. 14,  was born in Moscow, Idaho on July 14, 1920 to Olaf Paulson, Sr. of Redwing, Minn., and Karen Lassen of Kragerø, Norway.  He came to the Silverton area while very young, moving west from Idaho’s Palouse with his parents and siblings after their wheat crop was destroyed by a storm.

He was raised on his family’s farm on the banks of the Pudding River west of Mount Angel.  It was there that life (and conservative Norwegian parents) imbued him with the characteristics which would define him: honesty, service beyond self,  devotion in all his duties.

Ole attended Silverton High School, where he met and fell in love with Marjorie Kaufman.  They were married in December 1940 and soon knew their first (and only) separation during World War II, when he enlisted in the United States Navy.  Ole served in the Pacific and in mainland China before being honorably discharged with the rank of Yeoman Second Class in January 1946.

After the service, Ole and Marjorie began life together in earnest.  They made a home in Silverton.  Together, they welcomed two children, Roger in 1947 and Sonya in 1950.  Marjorie devoted herself with joy to her role as mother and homemaker, while Ole gave himself to his roles as father, professional, and participant in his community.

It could be said that there were two peaks to his professional life.  He opened and managed First National Bank’s north Salem branch in the early 1960s.  His career also included decades-long work as business manager for Mallorie’s Dairy and advisor to founder and friend Bob Mallorie.

In the civic arena, it could be said that Ole was most proud of three key achievements and activities.  First was his election as Silverton mayor the mid-1960s.  He also had a long-role as Silverton School Board President and Silverton’s First Citizen for 1989.

Those highlights were a part of his story,  but to simply list his achievements as one might write a resume is to miss the man entirely.  He did much, but he was not a great success in life because of what he did.  He was a great success because of the manner in which he did all that he did – with humility, dignity, and integrity.

His truest and most enduring accomplishment was the family he built and nurtured during 70 years of partnership with Marjorie.  Together they gave the world two children, two grand-children, and five great-grandchildren, all of whom they attended closely and with unflinching devotion.  Throughout those years they spent at the center of that family, Marjorie was its heart, and Ole was its soul. Their home, while it endured, was everyone’s home.

Despite the long endurance of that home and the family, age and change eventually brought Ole challenges and blessings in turn.  He suffered the loss of Marjorie in early 2011.  And yet, in a turn of events which was surprising and inspiring, he found comfort with Frances Lacey, a friend from a long ago past, whom he wedded in February 2012.  Together with her, he found happiness and warmth until passing away peacefully.  He is survived by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Memorial service was Oct. 2 at the First Christian Church, Silverton. Burial took place at Valley View Cemetery. Funeral service arrangements by Unger Funeral Chapel, Silverton.

Donations to Olaf Paulson’s memory may be made to: Olaf Paulson Scholarship c/o Silverton Rotary Foundation, 502 N. First St., or to Silverton First Christian Youth Camp Scholarship Fund, 402 N. First St.

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