More on the life and death of John Olson

March 29, 2012

“John loved to meet people and to fish," says Marvin Bozarth about John Olson, who died on March 26. "He greeted strangers everywhere with ‘Hi there, where you from?’"

Olson, the founder of Olson Tire Service in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., was 76 (see "John Olson of Olson Tire Service dies in accident").

Bozarth, the former executive director of the International Tire and Rubber Association and senior technical consultant  for the Tire Industry Association (TIA), says for many years, Olson was the only retreader to retread rear farm tires.

"He traveled throughout the farm show circles exhibiting his farm tire retreads. He was a very knowledgeable retreader and preferred to mix his own rubber. Most of all, he was a great friend who was fun to be with and I will miss him very much.”

 Here is Olson's abridged obituary.

John Carl Olson, 76, beloved husband of Kay, father of six, grandfather of 14 and great grandfather of two, passed away on Monday, March 26, 2012, on the Pierre Marquette River. He leaves his family with cherished and loving memories as he journeys into his eternal life.

A Mass of Christian Burial for John will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Thursday, March 29, 2012, at 11 a.m. with Fr. Loren Kalinowski and Fr. Don Henkes officiating. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Academy Foundation.

John was born on Jan. 17, 1936, in Mt. Pleasant,  the son of Carl and Ruth (Milloy) Olson. He married Kay Packer on August 22, 1953, at St. Vincent De Paul in Shepherd. John owned and operated Olson Tire from its inception in 1959 until he retired in 1999 when his sons purchased the company. John held two patents in the tire retreading industry.

He was involved in the development of Mineral Springs among many other projects. John was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and was a board member of the National Retreaders Association. He enjoyed traveling the world with his bride "Kay Baby." John loved life and knew no stranger. Everyone was always welcome in their home. He was an avid fly fisherman and lived life to the fullest.

John is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Kay; six children, Kathy (Ken) Hibler of Indiana, Mike (Nancy) Olson of Blanchard, Carla (Joe) Stein of Cincinnati, and Pat Olson, Tim (Patty Straka) Olson and Sue (Bob) Bowlby, all of Mt. Pleasant; 13 grandchildren; one great grandchild; and five siblings.

John was preceded in death by his parents; daughter in law, Judy Olson; grandson, Brent Olson; and great grandson, Alejandro Pierce.

Olson Tire will be closed on Thursday, March 29, 2012

You may view John’s obituary online and send a condolence to the family, light a memorial candle, or place a memorial donation at