Matthew David Olson

Born in Columbia, SC on March 22, 1974

Departed on April 4, 2017 and resided in Aurora, CO

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Matthew (Matt) Olson, 43, of Aurora, CO passed away on April 4, 2017 after a tenacious battle with pancreatic insufficiency.

Matt was born March 22, 1974 in Columbia, SC.  After 15 months, he and his twin sister were adopted by Hal and Dot Olson.  He moved with his family to Aurora when he was 2 years old.   He was active in youth soccer and basketball as a child before finding his passion as a long distance runner.  Among his accomplishments was winning the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon for his age division at age 14.   He graduated from Gateway High School in Aurora, CO in 1992 where he competed in cross country and track.  He then went on to attend the University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo, CO and the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO where he majored in journalism.   He was subsequently employed as a reporter with the Greeley Tribune, Gillette News-Record (Wyoming), Aurora Sentinel, and Denver Post.

Matt was an avid reader, talented writer, loving son, faithful husband, loving father, adventurous brother, and loyal friend.  He loved sports—especially the Denver Broncos, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Cubs, and shared a deep affection with his father and brother for Florida State football.   He especially enjoyed traveling with his Dad and brother to cheer FSU to victories over Notre Dame, University of Colorado, and Oklahoma State University.

He also co-authored a book with a friend entitled Guilty Until Proven Innocent that detailed the plights of teachers who were wrongly accused of criminal activities.  He was featured by Tattered Cover as a local author at one of their book signing events.  The book was subsequently adopted by several colleges as a textbook for education majors.

Matt was a dedicated Christian and loved any opportunity to serve his church as an acolyte, reader, and usher.   He enjoyed debate on any subject whether it was over sports, politics or his Lutheran faith.

He loved food of any kind and lots of coffee.  He looked forward to holidays and special occasions with his family and friends.   He and his daughter had a special bond together with their fondness for sushi.  Matt also enjoyed the time with his wife and daughter attending or watching movies—especially the Star Wars and Marvel superhero collections, traveling to Disneyland, and spending time in the mountains.  He was a proud father who pushed himself to coach his daughter’s soccer team during his final year of life.

Matt is survived by his wife, Kelly, daughter Grace, his parents, Hal and Dot Olson of Aurora, Colorado; sister Meredith (Michael) Hopaczylo of Mesa, AZ; and brother, Josh (Leslie) Olson of Minneapolis, MN.  He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, and 3 nephews—Jaryn, Beck and Lane.  He will also be missed by his faithful pet and companion, “K.C.”.

The family would like to thank the caring nursing staff at Aspen Care Center, his hospice nurse, Vicki, and the Suncrest Hospice team for all their support to Matt and his family during his final months.

Services will be held at All Saints Lutheran Church, 15625 E. Iliff Avenue, Aurora CO 80013 on April 29, 2017 at 5pm.  A reception with light supper will follow the services.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Matt’s name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for bipolar awareness and treatment, College Invest Fund on behalf of Grace Olson (Ugift Code S8N-435), or All Saints Lutheran Church (Men’s Ministry).

Guestbook Entries

  1. Robert Olson :

    So sorry for this loss of a cousin. Rest in peace Matt.

  2. Laramie, April and Family :

    Hal and Dot, we are sorry to hear of the passing of your son. While we only knew him through stories, as noted above, he always sounded like a fine man, who was raised by two of the finest people we know. Our deepest condolences and wish for strength through this time through god and your love. Always thinking of you, The Reece Family

  3. Laurie Weaver :

    This is a tough loss for all of us, especially his beloved family. Knowing Matt since a tiny child, it is hard to believe that he is no longer with us. At least we know he is with god, and not in pain. My heart goes out to all of you in his family at this time.

  4. Judy Olson Baouab :

    I am so sorry that our family has lost Matt. He was a wonderful person. It was good to spend time with him at the Olson reunion and sitting with him at Troy’s wedding in Milwaukee. I wish we lived closer so we could have seen him more often. We love you and will miss you. Judy Olson Baouab

  5. Troy Sandifer and Family :

    God’s blessings.

  6. Judy Olson Baouab :

    I think it was Josh’s wedding. Troy married in Texas. They married about the same time. Oops.

    I treasure the copy of “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” which Matt sent to me with a lovely message and autograph.

  7. Norma Jean Olson Tobias :

    Dear Family,

    No matter what we do, we can never prepare for goodbye. Through the heartbreak and tears, the greatest honor to Matt is to continue to “fight the good fight” just as he has done for so long. NEVER have I known anyone with such a competitive spirit, a fighting spirit! The miles have separated us, but never separated the love. I hear the name of Matt and instantly remember my first time to meet him and Meredith. The quiet Meredith and the full of spunk Matt! What joy and love of life the two of you brought to our family. As Matt grew older, I absolutely loved our sarcastic sparing contests; we picked on each other and loved every minute of it. Wish I could remember the crazy dice game we played with you so many years ago. Loved to talk sports with you. So thankful for all the fun memories with you and the rest of the family. Adopted?? It made no difference to our family. You are forever in my heart. May God bless me with a reunion with you in heaven.

  8. Jeff and Shawna Smith :

    Hal and Dot, I am so sorry to hear about your son. Sending you strength and prayers from our family to yours.

  9. Jeannette Warner :

    Matt, little brother, I wish I could have known you. To the rest of the family, I am so sorry for your life. I hope you can find peace now, and comfort in knowing Matt is safe in heaven.

    My love,

  10. Jeannette Warner :

    Matt, little brother, I wish I could have known you. To the rest of the family, I am so sorry for your loss I hope you can find peace now, and comfort in knowing Matt is safe in heaven.

    My love,

  11. Destiny Scott :

    Dot and Hal,

    I am so sorry for your loss! I will keep the family in my thoughts and prayers!


    Destiny Scott

  12. Dan and Jean Mahoney :

    We are happy that Matt is finally at peace with God. He suffered much in his short life. We know our daughter Kelly and granddaughter Grace have many good memories of Matt. We are deeply sorry for the Olson family loss.

  13. Jim Barmington :

    I wish peace for the entire Olson family.

  14. Pam Faulkenberry-Junge :

    We are so very sad to hear of Matt’s passing. May he find peace and light perpetual shine upon him always.

  15. John E Poplin :

    Meredith & Family,

    I am so sorry to hear of Matt’s passing. No matter how prepared we may think we are, the passing of a loved can touch us in ways we never imagined. A Maya Angelou quote concludes; “…people will never forget how you made them feel.” Smiles and Laughter come to mind when I think of you and your brother, Meredith; many fond High School memories. I hope your family finds peace and warmth in the memories you have of Matt, and the way he made you feel in the times you shared. That those memories… those feelings… comfort you in the days ahead. Your family is in my thoughts.

  16. Renate Jimerson :

    Matthew fought a very courageous battle. I will always remember the young man that lived across the street from me, always showing that charming side of him either by flirting with the neighbors or playing a prank on us with a smile. He was always a positive person who was a pleasure to know as a friend. May God continue to comfort your heart and spirit and may Matthew’s legacy live on in his beloved daughter and with his wife. I am sorry to hear of this loss, please accept my sincere condolences.

  17. I’m so sad for the loss of Matt- He was very brave . He was my first friend when I moved to Colorado and my best friend through high school- he made me step- up my own game athletically, even though he was 2 years younger than me. I am honored to have known him- If your family needs anything at all, my family is there for you.

  18. Friedrich und Gaby Mielke :

    Our sincere condolences
    We will remember Matt fondly

  19. Nancy Wilson-Rhodes :

    Hal and Dot, I am so sorry for the loss of your son. My deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers go out to you!

  20. DON AND LAURIE LaBelle :

    Our prayers are with you and your family. God bless you and keep you.

  21. Connie and Kim Deal :

    Dot, Hal and the entire Olson family,
    Connie and I are so sorry for your family’s loss. We knew Matt for such a short time, but were so thankful for the time we did have. Do know that our prayers and thoughts are with you now and in the future.

  22. Annette and Gerry :

    Dear Dot and Hal we are so sorry to hear about your son Matt. Love and prayers for you and your family.

  23. Lori and Ray Furman :

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Hal and Dot, as well as Kelly, Grace and all family members. Matt fought a tough battle for a very long time, he is resting now in God’s arms. May peace be with you all, and your wonderful memories comfort you.

  24. Dear Dorothy and Hal,

    Words cannot express my sorrow for the pain you and your loved ones are suffering with the loss of your beautiful son. You are the first ones in my prayers every morning as you have been for quite some time. I pray God’s comfort and strength for you during this difficult time and in the days to come. We love you and lift you up.

    Sandy and George Smith

  25. To the Olson Family –

    The passing of a loved on does not diminish but awakens the spirit. Though you cannot see him now, he walks with you in your hearts and memories in love always. I hope thoughts of him will comfort you in all the days to come.

  26. I got to know Matt during my first stay with what became my American Family and from this time on he was part of the Mielke Family too! I truly enjoyed the time with him as well as reading Guilty Until Proven Inncovent! He was a remarkable Person and left a great Impression on me!

  27. Rebecca Weiner :

    Dear Hal, Dot, Kelly and Grace,
    My prayers go out for you as they have during this journey. May peace serve you, love we all send strengthen you and memories fill your hearts.

  28. Roger and Betty Stokes :

    Hal, Dot and the entire Olson family – we are so sorry for your loss. We wish you all peace and comfort and warm thoughts of Matt as you push through the process of grieving for your son, brother, husband and uncle. Our thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you.

  29. Giff & Glenda Gardner :

    We’ll miss you, Matt

  30. It is especially difficult to lose a loved one in the prime of their life, with many shared dreams unfulfilled. My sincere sympathy for your loss.

  31. You are being lifted up in prayer as you struggle to understand the purpose of all that is happening in your family at this time. I can only send love and prayers as that doesn’t change the circumstances but I do care and wish to comfort you in your time of sorrow. Our children are not to leave before us. However, we trust in an all powerful God who is with us as we hurt. Trust and rest in Him for He knows your heart and He heals broken spirits. I am so sorry Matt is gone especially this Easter season. Please give your heart, pain, and worry to the Father for He can give you comfort and help you through. Praying for you and all of your family.

  32. Emily Faulkenberry :

    Dot, Hal, Merridith, and Josh, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your dear son Matt. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I had had the pleasure of meeting Matt. With Love . Emily Faulkenberry

  33. Stephanie Rozmarich (Chester) :

    To the Olson family, I extend my heartfelt sympathy. I did not know him well in high school but, I am saddened to hear of Matt’s passing. Good-night! good-night! as we so oft have said, Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days That are no more, and shall no more return., Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed; I stay a little longer, as one stays, To cover up the embers that still burn.”! Henry Longfellow

  34. Catherine Cusack :

    My prayers go out to the Olson family. Hal and Dot my heart breaks for you and Matt’s siblings. May Matt be whole and happy in heaven.

  35. Gay & Ken Kielbania :

    Dear Hal and Dot: We are so sorry to hear of your sons passing. With our deepest sympathy. Gay and Ken Kielbania

  36. Bill and Eileen Convery :

    Dear Olson family… You are in our thoughts and prayers! I knew Matt through stories , told by his mom, of courage, love and joy! They were the story of a young man who lived life to the fullest! From an Irish headstone, I think of this quote, “Love leaves a memory no one can steal.” Knowing you, Dot and Hal, you have a treasure chest of memories! Love, Eileen and Bill Convery

  37. Jeff and Mary Lou Schleher :

    Dear Hal, Dot, Meredith , Josh, Kelley and Gracie, We are so sad for the loss of your remarkable ,loving Matt. I really was helped by his book when I was teaching special ed. He possessed amazing journalism skills. What a great life you all shared with him. Memories will remain and keep him alive always for each of you. A friend sent this quote a few days ago. Felt it was appropriate at this time for you: “There is sacredness in tears. they are not the mark of weakness but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” Washington Irving
    You are in our prayers and thoughts as we also remember Matt.

  38. Judy & Jason Mcintosh :

    To the family of Matt Olson; We are so sorry to hear about Matt. What a wonderful person and child of of God. He will be dearly missed. You are in our hearts and prayers daily. Bless all of you and may you find the peace you all deserve. Blessings and peace to all of you. It was a pleasure to be part of his life with Christy and Grace. Know that he is in no more pain and singing with the heavenly choir. Peace to all of you. Blesssings Judy & Jason

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