LaDonna E. Olson, age 72, of Hudson, Wisconsin, passed away suddenly at the United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota on Monday, October 1, 2012. LaDonna was born on March 11, 1940 to Lyle and Hattie (Johnson) Lewis in Amery, Wisconsin. She grew up in Clear Lake, Wisconsin but would attend and graduate from high school in River Falls. Upon graduation, she attended UW-River Falls where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education. She also completed several graduate level courses in education.
In 1959, LaDonna met a young man named Kenneth Olson at a Lutheran League Dinner. The two dated until 1963 when they were united in marriage at the Ezekiel Lutheran Church in River Falls. The marriage would be blessed with one son, Paul.
LaDonna was a very well known elementary educator in School District 622 – North St. Paul, Maplewood & Oakdale and spent a total of 32 years helping to educate students. She took pride in developing teaching tools that enhanced the learning of phonics, spelling and reading. She was recognized for the effectiveness of her teaching methods and was consistently able to raise the lowest performing students to exceptional levels of accomplishment.
After her retirement, LaDonna took up employment at Hudson Wal-Mart where she worked in the fitting room, answered telephones, created displays, and helped with customer service. Staff and customers alike enjoyed and appreciated her dedication and care. She frequently received positive customer feedback and was recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty. LaDonna received multiple awards from Wal-Mart’s home office, including a special recognition on the company’s recent 50th Anniversary. LaDonna put in 18 years at Wal-Mart. She will be dearly missed by the many friends she made there.
Faith also played a large part in LaDonna’s life. She was an active member of Harvestime Outreach Church. Everyone who knew her both recognized, and was touched by her generosity. She was known for her frequent “Jesus hugs” used to lend comfort and support to others. LaDonna would often provide food and clothing gifts to those who were in need. Her selfless giving went far beyond the norm. Talking with those who knew her, one will hear multiple stories of the tremendous efforts she took to help those around her. LaDonna’s kindness will long be remembered by those who knew and loved her.
LaDonna was also a loving wife and mother. She enjoyed many activities with her family. Being together was very important to her and them. Throughout her life, the activities she enjoyed ranged from gardening, canning, traveling the country, going on river cruises, attending plays, watching inspirational television, spending time and holidays with family, and being involved in church events.
LaDonna is survived by her husband, Dr. Kenneth Olson of Hudson and son, Dr. Paul Olson of St. Louis, Missouri.
A Celebration of LaDonna’s life will be held at 11am on Friday, October 5, at the Harvestime Outreach Church – 498 Jacobs Lane, Hudson, Wisconsin. Burial will follow at the Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls, Wisconsin. A time of visitation will be held for 1 hour prior to services at the church as well as from 4-7pm on Thursday, October 4, at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home – Hudson Chapel. Services are in the care of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson. 715.386.3725