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         Kent Gustaf Olson

 

Kent Gustaf Olson

 

Kent Gustaf Olson passed away on July 16, 2020 at the age of 82.

Kent G. Olson was born June 6, 1938 in Preston, Idaho. He was the firstborn son of LeGrand and Iris Olson. As his father was a forest ranger, he was raised in several communities in Arizona and New Mexico.

The family moved to Manti in 1952 where Kent graduated from Manti High School in 1956. It was here that he started his lifelong love affair with music by taking piano and organ lessons. He was taught most notably by LaVar Jensen, a professor of the Juilliard School of Music who spent his summers in Manti.

He enrolled at the University of Utah majoring in electrical engineering, where he graduated with honors in 1962. While in Salt Lake he took organ lessons from Tabernacle organists Robert Cundick and Roy Darley.

He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany. Upon graduation he accepted a job with the prestigious Bell Laboratories at Homedel, New Jersey. He concentrated his work there on efficient routing of communication traffic. While in New Jersey, he took organ lessons from the esteemed Fredrick Schwan at Riverside Church. He also enhanced his education by enrolling in a master’s program at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

He then transferred to Bell Labs along the Front Range of Colorado, to be closer to family and the mountains he loved. In his work, he migrated into computer operations, becoming a system analyst and administrator. He was famous for helping to bring the nationwide communications through the year 2000 (Y2K) without incident.

He became widely known as a member of the Organist Guild and a substitute organist for the many churches in the Denver area. He became principle accompanist for the Colorado Mormon Chorale and served in leadership positions in that organization. He played for his ward for over 40 years.

Kent loved mountain climbing, studying nature, wildlife, and church history. He climbed all the 14ers in Colorado-some several times. He was an avid member of the John Whitmer History Association and Sunstone. He traveled to many exotic places including Africa, Antarctica, Easter Island, Hawaii, and Australia.

Kent enjoyed doing many of these activities with his nieces, nephews, and friends. Kent gave of himself to so many individuals as well as several charities, animal preserves, and the organ installations in several buildings.

He had an exuberant zest for life and all the activities that he was involved with. This enthusiasm was contagious to all around him.

He passed away Thursday, July 16, 2020 near Greeley, Colorado while walking along the railroad tracks hoping to see the trains that he kept track of. He is survived by his brothers Keith (Pat) Olson and Ted (Vickie) Olson and sister Margie O. Anderson. Also survived by 17 nieces and nephews as well as 46 great nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services were held on Monday, July 27, 2020 at noon at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Boulder, Colorado Stake Center.

Graveside services to be held Thursday, July 30 at Franklin, Idaho Cemetery.