Robert William Olson, 84, King, Wis., formerly of Evansville, died Thursday, September 9, 2010, at Riverside Medical Center, Waupaca, of congestive heart failure. He resided at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King for 10 years, but spent most of his life in Janesville and Evansville. He was born August 27, 1926, in Janesville, the son of Francis and Ethel (Christeson) Olson. He attended Janesville High School where he played football. At 17, he joined the Navy during World War II serving in the South Pacific. He witnessed the horrific explosion of the ammo ship USS Mount Hood at Manus, Admiralty Islands in 1944 – a tragedy he remembered his entire life. After discharge, he worked in Janesville and Evansville as a painter, carpenter and farmer. He married Gwendolyn Bryan of Evansville on February 3, 1948. The newlyweds were farmers near Edgerton and Janesville. He became a born-again Christian in the mid-1950s and quit farming to attend college at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and later graduated from St. Paul (Minn.) Bible College. To support a growing family, he worked for the U.S. Post Office in Chicago and St. Paul. His postal career came to last 30 years when he retired in 1986. He sorted mail on postal busses in northern Wisconsin and later aboard Milwaukee Road trains between Chicago, Milwaukee, the Twin Cities, Kansas City and Buffalo. He bought a farm west of Evansville in 1959. While working as a city letter carrier in Evansville, he also ran the 80-acre farm raising Hereford cattle and Columbia sheep. The family moved off the farm to Evansville in 1971. After retirement, he and Gwen bought a cabin near Iron River, Mich., where he was caretaker of a private hunting lodge. The couple moved to Waupaca in 1998, where he dedicated his energy to veterans and their causes. He was a man on the move and avid runner, camper, backpacker and ultimately mountain climber. He climbed Mount Rainier in Washington at age 55 and then summited Oregon’s Mount Hood. His favorite outdoor destinations were Montana’s Glacier National Park and the Sylvania Recreation Area in northern Michigan. Devoted to family, he was truly a man of Wisconsin. He loved Swiss cheese, bratwurst, ice cream, the Packers, Badgers, but especially the Chicago Cubs – a team he followed daily until his death. He was a member of the Parfreyville United Methodist Church, Waupaca, and formerly, First Baptist Church in Evansville. He is survived by his wife, Gwen, of King; five children, Shirley Olson of Madison, John (Lisa) Olson of Poulsbo, Wash., Paul (Pam) Olson of Coupeville, Wash., David (Mary) Olson of Evansville, and Ruth (Martin) Diefenthaler of Waupaca; eight grandchildren, Joshua Olson, Breann (AJ) Cordy, Phillip (Michelle) Olson, Leah Olson, Nicolas Olson, Evan Olson, Benjamin Olson and Daniel Olson. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Frances Harris, Marion Garrow, Ethel (Dolly) Buggs; and a brother, Mel Olson. His ashes will be interred privately at Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King. A public tribute to his life will be held at the chapel of the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King at 2 p.m., Saturday, October 9, at N2665 County Road QQ. Visitation will precede that service at 12:30 p.m. at the chapel. Donations can be made to the Wisconsin Veterans Home Memorial Fund or the American Diabetes Association. A.J. Holly & Sons Funeral Home of Waupaca, handled arrangements.