Mary Houck Olson

Mary Houck Olson, 78, of Oak Park, died peacefully surrounded by family on June 12, 2017 in Minneapolis after a brief battle with rare EHE cancer. In death, she joins her husband Jon Olson and parents Margaret and Irvin Houck.

Ms. Olson approached her cancer diagnosis the way she approached all things in life: with gratitude to God for always providing for her. 

Her strong faith powered her identity as a wife, mother, “Nana,” sister, aunt and caring friend. It fueled her service to others in so many ways, as a Bible Study Fellowship lecturer/leader, WBS Bible study leader, volunteer to those with special needs through Joni and Friends, loyal Infant Welfare Society supporter, and foster mother to 70 babies over the decades.

She is survived by her children, Derek (Kris) Olson and Deirdre Olson Gentolizo; her grandchildren, Kaija, Benjamin, Anna and Nataly; her brother Dr. Richard Houck and sister Peggy (Eric) Smith; many beloved Houck and Olson extended family members, those who call her “Mom/Grandma Mary;” and dear friends in Illinois, Minneapolis and on Washington and Detroit islands.

Funeral services were held on June 17 at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division St., River Forest. Visitation took place on June 16. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division St., River Forest 60305 or Joni and Friends Chicago, 915 Harger Rd. #105, Oak Brook 60523.

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