Former Douglas County commissioner, Dan Olson, dies from COVID-19

Olson played a key role in many long-lasting county board decisions, including the building of a new jail and a new Douglas County Public Works facility.

Dan Olson

Dan Olson, a former Douglas County commissioner who served on the board from 2003 to 2014, died from COVID-19 on Dec. 16. He was 69.

Olson played a key role in many long-lasting county board decisions, including the building of a new jail, a new Douglas County Public Works facility and the remodeling of the courthouse.

When Olson stepped down from the board in 2014, he was presented with a plaque honoring his years of public service. An Echo Press story at that time quoted Olson: “It’s been a fun 12 years. There have been lots of ups and downs and sideways and it’s been very interesting. I’m looking forward to being retired.”

Olson was also dedicated to his family, church and community. Baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria, he served on several committees, as an usher and greeter, and was well known for his voluminous bass voice, according to his obituary. He sang for weddings and funerals and performed in various ensembles, including the praise group, and as a soloist.

“Dan had a big heart that so many were fortunate to experience,” the obituary noted. “His infectious smile, humor, and big bear hugs will never be forgotten.”


Olson is survived by his wife, Dawn; daughters: Stephanie (Mickey) and Danielle; grandchildren: J.D., Daniel, Isaac, Xavier, Danika, and Levi; brother: David (Caryn).

Visitation will be held on Monday, Dec. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria. Funeral service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. at Zion with a visitation one hour prior to the service.

Olson’s funeral will be live streamed for those unable to attend on starting 10 minutes prior to the service. All COVID-19 and Centers for Disease Control guidelines will be followed.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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