H.E. Roderick “Rod” Olson, age 90 of Denmark Township, died peacefully at J.A. Wedum Hospice in Brooklyn Park on Wednesday evening, January 26, 2022.
H.E. Roderick, the son of Olaf and Jessie (Shultz) Olson, was born on May 27, 1931, in Denmark Township, Minnesota. Following his graduation from Hastings High School with the class of 1950, Rod was united in marriage to JoAnne E. Greten on September 27, 1952, at St. Boniface Catholic Church, and she preceded him in death on September 17, 2018. Rod worked at numerous local companies prior to beginning his thirty-two year career as a Maintenance Mechanic at 3M Chemolite.
When Rod got home from work at 3M, he often spent his evenings and weekends farming his family’s Century Farm of 80 acres that became known as Oakgreen Acres. Over the years, he grew field corn, soybeans, oats, and sunflowers on his contoured farmfields, but his real fame was his much-anticipated sweetcorn crop! He loved planting the corn, often having to defend it from raccoons all summer, and then the opportunity to share it each August with family and friends. Rod ALWAYS had a story to tell, and he never passed up the opportunity to pull a good practical joke; he always had a twinkle in his eye and a wonderful sense of humor.
Prior to the pandemic, Rod was an early morning regular at the YMCA, and would often follow up his “workout” with a stop at McDonald’s drive-thru for his daily Diet Coke and breakfast sandwich. He enjoyed being a dedicated volunteer at Hastings Family Service, Denmark Township Historical Society, Sharing and Caring Hands, and the Washington County Fair. Rod was a talented woodworker and enjoyed making anything from Christmas ornaments to Grandfather Clocks for family members, and had the talent to fix just about anything. Most of all, Rod had a HUGE heart and was always there to help in any way he could. His strong work ethic and commitment to family will forever be remembered.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, JoAnne; and by his sister, Beatrice (Chuck) Gauger.
Rod is survived by his children, Duane (Charlotte), Keith (Rita), Dale (Alice McGuiggan), Mark (Virginia), Jean (David), and Eric (Julie); 19 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren; and by many other relatives and friends.
Private Family Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings, with interment following at the parish cemetery.
A Celebration of Rod’s Life will be held in August once the sweet corn is ripe. Rod’s children look forward to hearing stories about their beloved dad and enjoying a cheeseburger and an ear of corn with you on a sunny summer day.
Rod’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Lizbet Ronning and the staff of Allina Health Hastings Clinic for their many years of compassionate and extraordinary care to BOTH of our parents, and to Allina Hospice for their care given to dad in his final days.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations be directed to Hastings Family Service in Rod’s name to continue their mission that was so near and dear to his heart.
For guestbook and further information, please visit www.hastingsmnfuneral.com. Arrangements are being completed by Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel of Hastings.