Cover photo for Nolan J. Olsen's Obituary
Nolan J. Olsen Profile Photo

Nolan J. Olsen

September 7, 1931 — October 30, 2023

Nolan J. Olsen

Our loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend passed away peacefully on Monday, October 30, 2023, after his children and grandchildren were able to share their love and gratitude with him and say goodbye. He was 92 years old.

Nolan was born on September 7, 1931, to Clinton Lehi Olsen and Laura Hazel Jensen in Centerfield, Utah. Growing up was difficult. Many moves, few material possessions, and little money but lots of love. Sharing what they did have to support the needs of one another was the norm in their family. He grew up with three brothers (Lee, Perry, and Clint) and one sister (Alice). They have remained close friends throughout their lives.

He loved learning and found joy in being a good student. He attended American Fork High School through his junior year when his family moved to Sandy, Utah. His fondest memories and best school friends came from his time spent at American Fork. He graduated in 1949 from Jordan High School.

After graduation he enlisted in the Navy and served in the Korean War. While serving in the military, he took a second job so he could send his pay home to his family. It was during his service in Guam that he met Mr. Whitney, a reserve officer who was also an attorney. Mr. Whitney sparked in Nolan the thought that he could go to college, a first in his family, and become an attorney. Through military service he found purpose, discipline, and a love for his country and the opportunity it could provide.

After returning from the war, Nolan met Marilyn Johnson and was immediately enamored by her beauty and kind spirit. They fell in love and were married on July 23, 1955. They started a family and Nolan took his role of provider seriously, working a full-time job while attending law school. He rarely slept during those years. A quick catnap in his car was often all his rigorous schedule would allow.

His hard work paid off when he graduated from the University of Utah Law School in June of 1959. For the next 64 years he worked to build what is now Olsen & Olsen Family Law from the ground up. His dedication and grit helped build a thriving business. Several of his sons and grandsons have followed in his professional footsteps. His work in shaping Utah law and his generous advice and help to those in need is something for which many will be forever grateful.

When he wasn’t working, Nolan was enjoying the life he and Marilyn had created on their beloved Roosevelt Street in Midvale, Utah. After nearly twenty years there, they moved to the Willow Creek area in Sandy, Utah and built a home where their children and grandchildren loved to gather and create memories during the summer, around holidays, and almost every single Sunday. Nolan’s generosity was a theme in his life. He allowed family, friends, and strangers use of his properties for parties, vacations, and a place to stay when life was challenging.

Nolan believed in the power of education and spent much of his time, energy, and resources, making sure his children and grandchildren took advantage of every opportunity to increase their knowledge. He took great pride in the accomplishments and productive lives his children and grandchildren chose to lead. He was always there to celebrate the good times and big milestones with them and loudly applauded every good thing.

Besides home, Nolan enjoyed his beachside condo in Solana Beach, California where he and Marilyn started many vacation traditions with the family and provided a getaway that will be forever loved by all. In their later years, they spent all winter there enjoying the perfect weather and incredible scenery from their balcony. They made many friends in Solana Beach who enriched their lives and multiplied their fun. In addition to San Diego, their cabin in Fish Lake was a home away from home. Nolan felt peace away from the hustle of daily life and loved the beauty of nature. He enjoyed fishing and looking out at the lake from the back deck with an overcooked steak, bowl of cantaloupe, and newspaper in hand.

Nolan found camaraderie in his group of friends who met for breakfast every Saturday morning. For 50 years he played golf weekly with his friends Rod Rasmussen, Evan Pearson, and Cleve Jenkins at Alpine Country Club. Nolan was the last of their foursome and they are surely happy to be back together on the greens. Golf was a huge part of his life and something he enjoyed doing with his wife. He passed down his love of the game to many of his sons and grandsons. When he could no longer play golf, he was an avid fan.

His grandchildren remember his strong desire to see them succeed and enjoy life. They knew he was always willing to make his house and pool available for a party or reception and into his very last years could be found getting the pool cleaned and ready so people would come join him on a summer day. They looked forward to his Christmas cash and heartfelt letters offering advice to them each year about how to live a good and true life. They will always be grateful for grandparents who provided opportunities for the cousins to get to know and love each other. They have deep roots and abiding relationships because of their grandparent’s sacrifices to make togetherness a priority. As a family, they are absolutely imperfect but learned the importance of showing up for each other because of their grandparent’s good examples.

Nolan left this life only one day before Marilyn’s birthday, and we are certain it was both a sweet and surprising reunion and birthday celebration for them on the other side.

The Olsen family would like to give special thanks to Mary Otuafi, Melanie Mahe, and Rose Fineau for their tender and loving care during the last few years and particularly the final hours of their Dad's life.

Nolan is survived by his five children:  Mitchell (Kim), Michael (Mary Ann), Matthew (Marci), Martin, and Michelle (Alan) Benson, twenty-three grandchildren, 52 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter, his siblings, Perry (Nancy) Olsen, and Alice Holsten and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn, his parents, and two brothers, Lee, and Clint.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. at the Sandy Utah Willow Creek 7th Ward, 2115 E. Creek Road, Sandy, Utah.

A viewing will be held prior to the funeral from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the same location.

Interment will be at the Murray City Cemetery.

The service will be livestreamed on the Goff Mortuary Facebook Page at the following link: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Funeral-Service---Cemetery/Goff-Mortuary-116988261695382/ 
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)

Nolan Olsen - Funeral Recording.mp3

Past Services

Viewing

Thursday, November 9, 2023

10:00 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

Sandy Utah Willow Creek 7th Ward

2115 E. Creek Road, Sandy, UT 84093

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Sandy Utah Willow Creek 7th Ward

2115 E. Creek Road, Sandy, UT 84093

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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