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Dean O. Olson
October 17, 1947 ~ June 4, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
Dean O. Olson, 75, of Geneseo passed into eternal life Sunday, June 4th at Genesis East Hospital in Davenport Iowa. Visitation will be held from 4-7 PM Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory-Geneseo Chapel. Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM on Friday, June 9, 2023, at First Lutheran Church-Geneseo with Rev. Matt Kamprath officiating. He will be laid to rest at Oakwood Cemetery-Geneseo. Memorials may be given to the Dean Olson FFA Memorial Scholarship fund. Condolences can be left at www.vandemorefuneralhome.com.
Dean was born October 17, 1947, to Carl and Margaret (Boberg) Olson, graduated from Geneseo High School and Western Illinois University. He married Diane Gradert on February 10th, 1973. After college graduation there was never a question of his future, as the plan was always to come back to the family farm, Olson Acres, where he lived his entire life. Of course, he grew corn, beans, and hay, but his biggest agricultural love was feeding cattle. He was active in the Henry County Beef Association, served as president, and as a director on the state board. In 1976 he was the Geneseo Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer, and in 2021 received the Henry County Beef Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Dean was always ready to share his love for agriculture with youth as several teenagers found summer jobs on the farm, and all four of his children found careers in agriculture. In the 1980s he saw a need for a Beef 4-H project for younger members, so he originated the 4-H Bucket Calf Project in Henry County and was the fair superintendent of the bucket calf show for thirty years. In 2012 he was inducted into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame for his endeavors. His greatest support though went to FFA, as he could often be quoted calling it “the best youth organization in the United States.” The future of agriculture was as important to him as the present. He was the first president of the Geneseo FFA Alumni and served on the Illinois FFA Alumni Council for thirty-two years, served six years as president, and at this time was still an active director. Earlier years he served on the Henry County Farm Bureau Board and the Henry County Fair Board. He was an active lifetime member of First Lutheran Church, Geneseo.
Those left to cherish the memories include his wife, Diane, four children: Dee Ann (Chris) Kuster, Deric (Michele) Olson, Dusty (Melissa) Olson, and Devin (Megan) Olson; six grandchildren: Issac, Hope, and Faith Kuster; Hailey, Elizabeth, and Caroline Olson, a brother, Robert Olson, and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister and brother-in-law Judy and Bob DeBoever, and sister-in-law, Mary Olson.