Roger Damon Olsen
Roger Damon Olsen, 73, passed away at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington on July 12, 2012 after a courageous battle with heart disease. He was born May 4, 1939 in Racine, Wisconsin to Albert “Al” and Ruth (Vig) Olsen. He attended and graduated from Colville High School in 1957. Roger’s father was a Speech and English teacher at Colville High School. Ruth was a homemaker. Roger married Marla Scoles on September 24, 1966 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Shortly after, Roger, Marla and young children Dennis and Theresa sought a new adventure and headed to Ketchikan, Alaska where he was employed by the Ketchikan Pulp Mill as an electrician. He later became shift supervisor, retiring in 1997. Roger got his start with Ivan Harlan in Colville. He and Marla became snowbirds and traveled between British Columbia, Colville and Hope Arizona for more than 12 years, finally settling in Kettle Falls. Heart trouble sent him to the Sacred Heart LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Device) Program, which enabled him to receive a heart pump, extending his life beyond what was normally possible. The LVAD unit at Sacred Heart has approximately 52 patients locally that participate in this life saving program. About 50% of the patients are awaiting a heart transplant; the others are terminally ill patients whose condition makes them ineligible for heart transplantation. In this case, it can extend their life expectancy. Roger was an inspiration to the patients at Providence Sacred Heart Hospital and always had a cheerful smile and infectious laugh (along with some jokes) that made life easier for the other heart patients. The team of doctors and nurses were grateful for his courage and positive attitude. Roger loved to fish for many years in Alaska, British Columbia and in and around Stevens County. He enjoyed 4-wheeling with his family and friends and also loved his tractor. Roger leaves behind his wife of 34 years, Marla Olsen; children, Dennis Olsen (Korry) of Ketchikan, AK and Theresa Rupert of Colville; grandchildren, Karlee and Eric continue to live and work in Ketchikan, AK. Dennis is an electrician for the city of Ketchikan and Theresa is office manager at Colville Physical Therapy. He is also survived by his brother, Lloyd Olsen (Dawn) of Lawrence, KS and many nieces and nephews. At Roger’s request, no services will be held. Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com. Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.