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Friday, January 19, 2024
6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)
Saturday, January 20, 2024
9:30 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)
Saturday, January 20, 2024
Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)
Spencer Dirk Olsen, was born in Salt Lake City, UT on December 29, 1958. Spencer crossed the finish line of life unexpectedly on January 9, 2024 at his home in Sandy, UT. He was a rock and anchor to so many and his departure is gravely felt by his entire family and countless others who loved and admired him.
Spencer is the son of M. Dirk and Daryl Jolene Spencer Olsen. His siblings Cindee, Laura, David, Dixie and Darren would tell you that he was a wild child, popular among his peers, defender of the downtrodden, and occasional tormentor to his siblings. He was full of energy and full of life.
Spencer loved cars and music but athletics was his real passion and he excelled in every sport that he played. He was a standout athlete at both Jordan High and Dixie College. Despite all the accolades and news articles, the best thing that came from that time were the friendships he created with his teammates and coaches that would last the rest of his life.
Spencer embodied the courage to overcome adversity and turn personal weakness into great strength. After college he married Christine Foote and they welcomed a son, Miles Olsen, into the world. They later divorced. During this time he found himself wading through drug addiction and ultimately serving a prison sentence away from his family. Instead of giving in to despair he used the years he was incarcerated as a springboard to turn his life around. Finding his greatest hope in his son Miles, Spencer fought to become the man and father that his family could be proud of. His years in prison were a sacred and transformative time for Spencer. He met many people, including missionaries, who gave him hope in a second chance and was lifted up by the unconditional love of his devoted parents. He became a respected citizen of the prison and a member of the Flame ‘N’ Go Hotshot crew, an exclusive group of wildland firefighters that are trained to work on the front line of forest fires. Spencer found a higher purpose in serving his time and by the time he left, had completely turned his life over to God. He lovingly shared his redemption story openly throughout his life as a way to bring hope to others and to testify of the saving power of Jesus Christ in his life. Of all the accomplishments that Spencer achieved, he believed his greatest life achievement was his relationship with Jesus Christ.
Spencer met his sweetheart MaryAnn in 2001 and they were married a year later in the Salt Lake Temple. They combined their small families and became a blended family of six. Spencer took his roles as father and provider seriously, and strived to support and love all his children. Through the difficulties of raising children and the role of step-parent, Spencer met each new challenge head on, never giving up on the family that he and Mary Ann were building together. Through their love and devotion to God, they worked to implement a home where they worshiped, served, and supported one another. Doing the right thing was important to Spencer, and his biggest desire was to do right by God and his family.
Spencer lived a life of integrity and sincerity. He cared deeply for his family and friends and when he asked “What’s up?”, he was ready to listen. He considered his ability to serve others a great blessing to his life, and faithfully served in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in many callings. One of the more special ones to him personally was the nearly 10 years serving the people of the Mingo Branch Care Center. In this capacity he helped countless individuals through their despair that comes with long term illness, and the loneliness and pain of losing loved ones. Spencer was currently serving as a Youth Sunday School teacher as well as volunteering weekly as a facilitator for the Church's 12 step addiction recovery program.
Spencer lived with a zest for life that allowed him to accomplish so much in his 65 years. He worked hard to run a successful business with his best friend Al Takemori, and was proud of the legacy that he built with Jordan Enterprises. He had many interests that kept him active and busy including running marathons, golfing, biking, coaching youth sports, and traveling. In 2010 he discovered scuba diving and quickly went all in, logging more than 100 dives with Mary Ann and family. He loved planning diving trips with his brother Darren and was very proud of becoming a Rescue Diver. In 2014, shortly after returning home from a diving expedition, he suffered two strokes in the same week. He was told he would never scuba dive again and that he should slow down or run the risk of having another stroke.
Six weeks later, at age 55, (and to the disbelief of his family) he was asking his doctor for permission to run a marathon with his brother. Spencer would go on to run marathons in all 50 states! At one point he ran 15 marathons in 15 weeks accomplishing the highest level of achievement for the elite running club, the Marathon Maniacs. He would go on to join other running clubs setting his sights high by completing a marathon on all 7 continents. He was able to run on 5 of the continents (some multiple times) and was scheduled to run his next marathon in Antarctica this March. He was once asked why he runs so much and he responded:
“Because I like to do hard things; I like that feeling of being tested, or facing the challenge and getting through it. My running has helped me know that I can get through uncomfortable things. There are a lot of mile 22’s in all areas of life, those times when you have to dig deep and have faith that you’ll come out the other side.”
Spencer loved his grandchildren deeply. He felt so much joy in spending time with his 5 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. He showed loving support by attending sporting events and dance recitals, and was keenly aware of each child and their different needs. When sickness, grief, or trouble of any kind showed up, he was there to support and love and give special blessings of comfort and guidance. We will cherish memories made with Grandpa at dinners and family gatherings where he was quick to offer a hug or fist bump, and share his special snacks. The times that we spent traveling with Grandpa going to St. George, supporting him on his races, and sharing adventures on the jet skis and side-by-side will be some of our best memories with him.
Spencer was a life-line to so many people. We are now in our mile 22 running the most uncomfortable, difficult race without our husband, father, son, grandpa, and friend. And though it seems an impossible task, we will look to Spencer’s strength and words of encouragement and wisdom to get us through. We will remember him in the way that we live, and serve, and praise God that we got to run part of the race with Spencer by our side. We love you Spencer.
Spencer is survived by his wife Mary Ann Ewell Olsen, his father M. Dirk Olsen, his four children Shane and Melanie Otvos, Tashina Chandler, Miles and Ashley Olsen, Dallas Otvos, and seven grandchildren: Amelia, Norah, Josie, Lenox, Skyy, Jaxson, Jaydee. He is preceded in death by his mother Daryl Jolene Olsen.
Services will be held at:
Sandy West Stake, 8670 South 220 E., Sandy, UT
Viewing Friday, January 19, 2024 6-8 p.m.
and Saturday, January 20, 2024, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Funeral Services, Saturday, January 20, 2024, 11:00 a.m.
The service will be livestreamed on the Anderson & Goff Mortuary Facebook Page at the following link:
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)
Spencer Olsen - Funeral Recording.mp3