Andy Olson, longtime local business owner and cattleman of Hershey, died Nov. 14, 2023 at the age of 83.
Andy was born April 30, 1940, to George and Berdeen Olson of Hershey. He grew up and attended school in Hershey, graduating from Hershey High School in 1958, then attended Kearney State Teachers College.
While in college Andy met the love of his life, Marcia Alberts. They were united in marriage on June 10, 1962, and made their home in Hershey. Marcia and Andy were blessed with three children, Kirk, Kim and Kendra, and 61 years of marriage.
Strong work ethics began early for Andy as he helped his grandparents and parents. He worked with his father, George, in the Olson Fertilizer Company and did some construction work where he helped in the building of Hershey Public School.
Andy’s love for farming and ranching comes from his father, George, and his Grandpa Andrew. He began his business career in 1954 with the purchase of three mares which led to his long career of raising Lazy U Quarter Horses. By 1964 he and his father incorporated Olson Farms; custom cattle feeding was added to the operation in 1986.
Andy was a progressive cattle feeder. He kept up with his thoughts and with the industry; he was always open to trying new ideas. Conservation was also a priority as he implemented numerous conservation practices on his operation and he supported the schools, shelters and food pantries in the area with beef.
Some of his greatest moments were in sales barns. He always attended the Tuesday sale and loved a horse sale. What Andy learned from his grandparents, parents, and his own experiences, he has passed on to his children and grandchildren. Andy wanted people to achieve their dreams and believed in supporting the youth in local and national agriculture programs.
He was active in the Hershey community and belonged to Maria Lutheran Church. Among his awards and recognitions, Andy was named honorary member of the Paxton FFA Chapter; served as Hershey Fall Festival Parade Marshal; received the North Platte Business of the Year award; was founding member of the Hershey Lions Club; and served on the board of Maria Lutheran Church.
Andy was a family man and a man of faith. He was also very good at having fun with his close friends. His family and friends benefited from his sophisticated problem solving skills, no matter if it was business or… Andy had a heart of gold and never met a stranger. He leaves a lasting legacy and will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Berdeen and George Olson, and sister, Janelle Emert.
Andy is survived by his wife, Marcia; children and their spouses, Kirk and Tracy Olson of North Platte, Kim and Keith Luttrell of Kearney and Kendra and Paul Strommen of Sidney; grandchildren and their spouses, Dayna and Trey Wasserburger, Caitlyn and Patrick Jacobson and Jayde and Luke Winkelbauer; great-grandchildren, Westyn, Gentry, Gwyn and Wacey; his sister, Georgena and husband, Alan Arnett of Loveland, Colo.; as well as many friends and nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family.
A Celebration of Andy’s Life was held on Friday, Nov. 17 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Platte with Pastor Wade Hudson officiating. His funeral procession went through downtown North Platte, with more than 30 friends and family members on horseback, paying tribute to the cattleman. A private family inurnment was held later in Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens.
The memorial book may be signed online at odeanchapel.com or at Odean Colonial Chapel, which was in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to Maria Lutheran Church in Hershey or Lincoln County 4-H Council.
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