John Peter Olson, of Sun City CA, died from complications of heart disease at the age of 72 with family by his side.
John was the youngest son in a family of nine children born in Grand Forks, North Dakota on May 24th, 1949, to Enyard and Victoria Olson.
John is preceded in death by parents and brother Robert Olson. He is survived by his wife Margarita Olson, daughter Jessica Briere, two grandsons Jeremiah (21) and Jaden (18), seven siblings (Nancy, Judy, Don, Rick, Becky, Carrie, and Sherry), four stepchildren (Machi, Sorina, Zulema, and Junior), and several step-grandchildren.
John’s formative years in Grand Forks developed strong family traditions and memories of eleven people in a two-room house. When he talked about home, it was nostalgic tales of a tight-knit love of family. John, called “Jackie” as a boy, discov- ered music at a young age. His father arranged lessons with an old banjo player in town. In September of 1962, John at age 13 with four siblings and their mother, traveled cross-country to Renton, Washington. Father Enyard and older sister Nancy, with her new young family, had already made Renton their home. The story goes that the five children were allowed only one personal item each. Jackie brought his banjo.
While John’s roots are in North Dakota, he grew up on Wells Avenue South in Renton, Washington in the 1960’s as a budding musician. John graduated from Renton High School in 1968. He played guitar in many bands. Becoming locally famous, “Johnny O” sang rock-n-roll in music halls in Renton and surrounding areas. Along with music, John learned carpentry and worked with his brother Rick in a drywall company. He started his own construction company, Olson Construction, where he was a successful general contractor in the area for several years. In 1988, John, his wife, and daughter Jessica, moved from Renton to Maple Valley, Washington to property with room for back hoes and of course, an outdoor stage for entertaining.
In 2001, John started a completely new chapter, following his sister Nancy full circle, to southern California for a fresh start. John married his wife Maggie in 2004 and gained four children and several grandchildren. John’s health became challenging in his 60s when it was discovered that he had leaking heart valves that had likely been present his entire life. John underwent his first heart surgery in 2011 at 62 years old to close valves and un- block arteries; it was a successful five-way bypass. In 2018, at age 69, he underwent an eight-hour open heart surgery to insert an external heart pump going home with another lease on life. The recovery was long and arduous; however, he did find reprieve for a short time before his health began to falter again in 2020 until his passing with frequent visits to the hospital.
His heart, tender in every sense for his entire life, John made an effort in his last weeks to talk to many loved ones. He was a warrior through several difficult years, but it was time to say goodbye and rest in peace.
John is remembered for his music, his zest and his joy, his optimism, and the mischievous twinkle in his eye. He was a jokester, an entertainer, and a big teddy bear to many. John loved singing and playing, his family, woodworking and carpentry, motorcycle trips with the guys, RV trips with his wife, and his dog Gus.
No funeral was requested. John will be honored in a Celebration of Life in Sun City CA spring/summer of 2022. In lieu of flowers, donations to musical programs such as https://www.rentonschoolsfoundation.org/ donate are appreciated.