By Dan Nienaber
Nels Edward Olsen, Jr. (Oly) age 49, of Rifle, Colorado, lost his struggle with addiction and depression on December 8, 2013 and went home to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Memorial service will be at the Church of Christ in Cleveland at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2014. Visitation is at 10 a.m. one hour before the service with Pastor John Kester officiating. Interment will be at a later date.
Nels was born in Thousand Oaks, California on July 31, 1964. He was baptized in Thousand Oaks and confirmed at Messiah Lutheran Church in North Mankato. Nels grew up in Mankato. He went to both Mankato West and Mankato East Schools but graduated from high school in Austin in 1981. Nels joined the Army in 1986 and served for 2 years. He then worked for several companies in Mankato until his 30s when he moved to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He worked at the Pacific Sheet Metal Co. in Carbondale, Colorado for 10 years. Nels went to school in Denver in 2009 to become a semi truck driver. He drove a bus taking tourists to the ski resorts, for a year and then found a truck driving job with Transystems Trucking Co. in Renville, Minnesota.
He loved the Mountains, Mountain climbing, caving, snow skiing, snowboarding, hiking and motorcycle. He motorcycled to Sturgis for the past 7 years and camped at the Friends of Bill W. ranch. Most of all, he loved his family and friends.
Nels is survived by his father and stepmother, Nels and Mary Olsen of Mankato; mother and stepfather, Iris and Wally Krenik of Cleveland; son, Brandon Bailey of St. Petersburg, Fl.; brother, Eric Olsen of Mankato; sisters, Gina (Tom) Massop Minnesota Lake, Dawn (Kelly) Sandborg of Mapleton and Erin Drews of Mapleton; stepbrother, Jesse Raatz of Mankato; stepsisters, Tammy (Tim) Reinert of Talkeetna, Alaska, DeNell (Kieth) Kerns of Belle Plaine, Brenda (Tom) Weber of Burnsville, Jenny Lemke of Lake Crystal, and Paula (Mike) Zahratka of Montgomery; many nieces and nephews.
Nels was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents.
Arrangements are with the Le Center Funeral Home in Le Center. 507-357-6116.