Ruby Olson

November 21, 1920


August 22, 2020

Ruby Olson

November 21, 1920


August 22, 2020

Heaven has gained another angel. Ruby Olson was born on Nov. 21, 1920, to Andrew and Mary Esp Olson in Big Timber. She passed away peacefully on Aug. 22, 2020, three months before her 100th birthday.

Ruby had fond memories of her childhood, rich in Norwegian tradition. After completing her education in Big Timber, she attended Eastern Montana Normal School. She was an elementary teacher in country schools around Big Timber, and eventually in Seattle, where she taught until retirement. Seattle suited Ruby well, as she enjoyed cultural events, music, shopping and dancing. It was a gardener’s paradise with the warm climate, and that became her favorite hobby. Her childhood dream of traveling became a reality, as she traveled the world. She particularly enjoyed five trips to Norway, spending time with relatives and studying her Norwegian roots.

In 2013, Ruby returned to Billings, where she lived independently at Sweet Water Retirement until two weeks before passing. She had a sharp mind, exceptional memory and a keen interest in reading. She was blessed with a wonderful sense of humor and optimistic outlook. She had a collection of interesting stories, jokes and clever sayings. A family favorite was “It’s not how old you are. It is how you are old.” Another was “Everyone needs someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.” 

Ruby was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Arnold “Red” Olson, Sam Olson, Oscar Olson, Agnes Jacobson and Evelyn “Evie” Allen. She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family services will be held at a later date.

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10 thoughts on “Ruby Olson”

  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your sister, Agnes Jacobson was my teacher in Grey Cliff in the 1930’s and continued to be a friend of our family, Bill & Regina Brinkel, until they had all lived their long lives. I remember Agnes speaking of Ruby during visits at her Billings home.
    Sr. Dolores Brinkel

    1. Linda Litle (niece)

      Special life long memories from friends dating back to the 1930’s is very special. Ruby enjoyed visiting her family every summer especially her sisters, Agnes and Evie. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

  2. Ruby was a very good friend to my mother, Bethel Kienitz, at Sweetwater Retirement. They met for meals there each day and talked about there common teaching careers, and although not at the same time, they had both lived in Big Timber. Bethel taught in Grey Cliff for several years, so they had lots to talk about. She was a very sweet lady. God bless her nieces and nephews.
    Steven Kienitz

    1. Linda Litle (niece)

      Hi Steven… I remember Ruby speaking kindly of Bethel and how much they had in common. It is special they could share many life experiences and have each other at SweetWater. A special friendship. Ruby enjoyed her home at Sweetwater. Always spoke fondly of residents and staff there. Thank you for thinking of us. We miss Ruby very much.

  3. Gwen (Nesheim) Howard

    Ruby Olson was a part of our family from the 1940’s when she moved to Seattle and on through the many years. She and her long time housemate and friend Helen Jacobson were at our holiday gatherings, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, and just stopping by for coffee. The final years of my mother’s life were spent in a nursing home and Ruby the ever faithful friend made sure to visit regularly bringing with her a wonderful smile and positive attitude.

    1. Linda Litle (Niece)

      Hi Gwen… Thank you for your post, sharing your close relationship with Ruby. Ruby shared with us the many celebrations with you; Ruby’s second family. Ruby loved all of you very much. I can see Ruby faithfully visiting your mother in the nursing home. Ruby was always thoughtful in this way, thinking of others. Ruby had a full, well lived life. We miss her. Thank you for thinking of us.

  4. Carol (Anderson -Goodies daughter) Viger

    Ruby; an independent, positive, educated, determined, disciplined woman and role model without trying to be one. I will always remember the meatball dinner (at mid day) that we had here with my 3 brothers Dennis Arne and John too right before she left for Billings. Ruby was always interested in what we/I/our family was up to- and she was so vibrant, wise, experienced as a teacher and kind – we valued her and her interests. A couple of years ago for example she recommended a book she had read- I read it and loved it. She was special and I will miss the sparkle in her eye that I was lucky enough to see in 2018 with my brother Arne and son Mark.

  5. Linda Litle (Niece)

    Hi Carol… Your words are very kind and complementary of Ruby. Yes, Ruby was an impressive lady and a role model for many. We remember how disciplined she was… the cherished lessons she taught us all. Ruby was determined and very independent which took her a long way in life. What a wonderful life she lived. Thank you for your kind words.

  6. Dear Ruby’s family,
    Gwen and Carol said it well. We were all fond of Ruby and Helen. OUR BROTHERS KELLY and Mark, and Carol’s brothers Arnold and Dennis got to stop in to see her when on their fishing trips in Montana or on their way to North Dakota to visit our relatives. Paul and I got to visit a couple of times too.
    Ruby encouraged Gwen and I to look up her family in Norway when we were in Norway for Summer School in 1961. Lilliba was so good to us. We got to meet her cousin Asbjorn when they were visiting her in Seattle too. Tak for alt Ruby! Love, Pat, Paul, Krystal and David

  7. Amy Kay Trueblood Lindh

    Dear sweet Aunty Ruby kindled a dear friendship with my mother, Carolyn Trueblood (Arnold’s daughter). We loved getting Aunt Ruby letters in the mail! She had such beautiful handwriting and she wrote in a way that made you hear her voice. Aunt Ruby was lovely inside and out. She was excited about the little moments in life and was great at sharing her interests and life in a letter. Blessings to the family. Amy Trueblood Lindh (Carolyn’s daughter)

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