John Edwin Olsen, age 67, a longtime resident of Montgomery, Alabama, passed away Tuesday, January 26, 2021, following a valiant fight against cancer. A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held Saturday, January 30, 2021, at 2 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Montgomery, AL. All recommended guidelines concerning COVID-19 will be followed to include the requirement of masks to be worn during services and reduced capacity seating.
Just like the waves crash the shoreline, or the lake rocks the boat, or the good times roll, John was constant, mellow, and nostalgic. Heritage and traditions were the very foundation of his upbringing. Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, John was a true Southern gentleman and deeply rooted in his Norwegian descent, as his maternal grandparents and father all emigrated from Norway. John was studious and academically accomplished having attended Murphy High School and later graduating with honors from Williamson High School. He went on to pursue higher learning from Livingston University (now known as the University of West Alabama) and lifelong comradery through the brotherhood of the Delta Chi Fraternity. Following graduation, John was hired with the FDIC where he dedicated more than 35 years of expertise and service.
John proved to be loyal in many endeavors beyond his career, most notably to the love he knew as football. He was an unwavering New Orleans’ Saints hopeful, a bleeding Alabama Crimson and White super fan, and a supportive booster to his alma mater’s fighting LU Tigers. He had a knack for stats recognition and was a resourceful authority when it came to sports trivia. John was a devoted partner to his true love, Debbie, with whom he shared almost forty years. They were a couple of locals in Mobile who featured their very own meet cute in 1978 and were later married in April of 1981. Together, they welcomed two sons, and John cultivated an enduring bond in his newfound role of fatherhood. He ran the roads and the sidelines in support of his two sons’ soccer ventures and was their champion of support and counsel across life’s hurdles.
John found time away from life’s demands to savor some of its simplicities and sweet traditions of his past. Mardi Gras in Mobile proved to be one of his most anticipated events. From parades and balls to the fare and fun, the occasion was always a great celebration and reunion of family and friends. When it wasn’t football or mystic masks and coattails, his solace was the water. From Lake Martin to the Gulf Coast’s beaches, John relished boat rides and basking. And it was always a great retreat home when the opportunities presented to visit his grandparent’s home along the banks of the Fowl River.
John fought, long and hard, and his fight does not go without appreciation and an opportunity from which to learn. He would want you to catch the beads, eat the Moon Pies, anchor the boat, and see the sea. May we all live with a little more John in our spirits—more constant, more mellow, and more nostalgic.
John is survived by his wife, Debbie Neiden Olsen; sons, Tyler Olsen (Meghan) of Mobile, AL, and Jordan Olsen of Montgomery, AL; mother, Lilly Olsen of Mobile, AL; sisters, Margaret Olsen and Mary Olsen (Vance McCrary) both of Mobile, AL; parents-in-law, Warren and Marguerite Neiden of Mobile, AL; brothers-in-law, Warren Neiden, Jr. (Beth) of Mobile, AL, and John Sharp of Saraland, AL; sister-in-law, Karen Neiden of Mobile, AL; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, Bernhard Olsen; sister, Linda Sharp; and infant brother, Bernard Johan Olsen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his honor to St. Paul Lutheran Church (4475 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL 36109). Friends and family can sign the guestbook online at www.greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Olsen family.