Erwin Theodore Olson, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and physician died April 9th, 2017, at Wesley Medical Center. Erwin was born in Lindsborg, Kansas, on November 12, 1919. Initially working as a chemist during WW II, he was trained as a physician at the University of Kansas Medical School in the Navy and served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force during the Korean War. He came to Newton in 1954 first as a general practitioner and, after additional training, as Newton’s first pediatrician. He was in practice at the Bethel Clinic for 40 years. There is hardly a family in the area that did not benefit from Erwin’s wisdom and healing. Always an advocate for children’s health, Dr. Olson actively participated in the Kansas branch of the American Academy of Pediatrics including the presidency in 1979-1982. After retirement, he volunteered with Newton Health Ministries, traveled, golfed, gardened, skied, and greatly enjoyed well-earned leisure time with his family and grandchildren.
In 1968, Erwin and his wife Gertrude turned a great tragedy into a loving legacy after their son, Charles, died in an accident. He was a talented musician who expressed a desire for all music students who so wished to be able to have private lessons. His parents recognized this passion by establishing the Charles Olson Instrumental Music Scholarship Fund. To date, the fund has supported scholarships for hundreds of music students in the Newton High School.
Erwin is survived by Gertrude, his wife of 75 years, Brenda Covert (Tom Covert), Kent Olson (Cornelia Krahn), four grandchildren: Brian Covert (Nenita Covert), Jill Koshiol, Katherine Olson (Jason Rogers), Andrew Olson (Emily Hedges) and great grandson, Jack Rogers.
A memorial service will be held at the Newton Salem United Methodist Church at 2:00 pm Saturday, April 15th. Memorials may be made to the Charles Olson Memorial Music Scholarship Fund. Petersenfamilyfuneralhome.com.