Frances Allene Harsman Olson 1914 - 2009
A celebration of life service for Frances Allene Harshman Olson, 94, Lawrence, was Monday at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home in Cottonwood Falls, with a longtime friend, Mr. Bennie Holtsclaw, officiating. Burial followed at Prairie Grove Cemetery in rural Cottonwood Falls.
Mrs. Olson died Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence. She was a former resident of Cedar Point.
She was born May 18, 1914, in rural Butler County near El Dorado, the daughter of Willard Virgil and Clara Knox Harshman. She graduated from El Dorado High School in 1933.
She graduated from Butler County Junior College in 1935 and taught in Butler and Chase counties for two years.
She returned to college and graduated from Emporia State Teachers College in 1968. She taught fifth grade at Burns Elementary for 10 years and retired in 1978.
Mrs. Olson was elected as a Chase County commissioner in 1992, the first woman to serve in this position in the county, and was re-elected in 1996. She also served on the board for the North Central Agency for Aging and the Silver Haired Legislature and was active in politics for many years.
Mrs. Olson enjoyed painting and was an artist in several mediums. She was a member of the Chase County Artists Guild, a lifetime member of Order of the Eastern Star Falls Chapter No. 25., and a seamstress.
She married Webster Gilbert Olson on Nov. 29, 1938, in Chase County. The couple lived near El Dorado until Jan. 13, 1941, when they moved to their farm near Clements. He died April 7, 1985, in Emporia. She remained on the farm until Dec. 27, 1998.
She married Jerry Park on Dec. 24, 1999. They lived at the Presbyterian Manor in Emporia until July 13, 2001. They moved to Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence. He died in January 2007.
She was also preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Frank Harshman.
Survivors include three sons, Willard Olson, Paradise Valley, Ariz., Willis Olson, Eudora, and R. Douglas Olson, Westmoreland; a daughter, Karen Shumate, Lawrence; 11 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
The family suggests memorials to the Chase County Courthouse Fund, sent in care of the funeral home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845.
Online condolences may be sent at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.