CUSHING — John William Olson died peacefully at the Togus Veteran’s Hospital in Augusta on Monday evening, November 25, 2019. He was 97 years old.
Born on May 10, 1922, in Cushing, he was the son of the late Samuel Hathorn and Mary Ida (McLeod) Olson. He was the last of the Olson descendants to be born in the Olson House on Hathorne Point Road and it was Hathorne Point where he was raised and made his home.
Mr. Olson started lobstering at the age of 12, and apart from serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent his entire life as a lobsterman.
Following his graduation from Thomaston High School with the class of 1941, Mr. Olson enlisted in the Navy and was assigned the rank of Seaman Apprentice. He served aboard the Destroyer USS Nelson and the Aircraft
Carrier USS Bon Homme Richard. He was honorably discharged as a torpedoman’s mate 2nd Class on December 24, 1945.
During his time in the Navy he earned the Navy Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one star, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.
During the 1970s he opened the restaurant “Our Place.” The restaurant was very successful and remained open until the winter of 1978 when two storms rolled in and took out the wharf in front of the restaurant causing it to
be unsafe. While the wharfs were eventually rebuilt, the restaurant remained closed.
When he wasn’t lobstering, he had an extensive collection of tractors and enjoyed mowing fields for hay. During the winter months you could find him on one of his woodlots cutting wood or plowing snow not only for
himself, but for an inexhaustible list of others as well.
Two portraits, (John Olson and Steel Rimmed) of Mr. Olson were painted by the late Andrew Wyeth and have been featured at various art galleries. As well, several books and numerous magazine articles have been written
Mr. Olson was predeceased by his parents, a sister, Ida Mae Kerschner, two wives, the former Marjorie Jordan, and later Betty Gillis, both of Thomaston.
He is survived by several children, Virginia Olson and her husband Paul Bilek of Venice FL; Samuel Olson of Cushing; Catherine Morris and her husband Daniel of Port Clyde; Rebecca Mitchell and her husband Michael of Rockport; Roberta Olson and her husband Bradley Yeaton of Cushing; John Jr and his wife Melissa of Cushing; and Heidi Dimauro and her husband David of Warren.
He leaves numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as his special, longtime friend, Barbara Charles.
Mr. Olson will be buried in the Olson Family Cemetery located in the field below the Olson House.
A memorial service with Military Honors will be announced on a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fisher House c/o Togus VA Medical Center, 1 VA Center, Augusta ME, 04330 (or online at fisherhouse.org), or to the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, PO Box
96570, Washington DC, 20077.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland.
To share a memory or condolence with the Olson family, visit their Book of Memories at bchfh.com