Local Obits

Obituary of Shirley Marie Olson

Shirley Marie Olson, 96, of Cortland, NY passed away on October 11, 2022.

Shirley was born on December 6, 1925 to Frank and Otilda Maxson in Minneapolis, MN. Shirley studied as a post-graduate at Columbia Heights High School where she graduated as a salutatorian.

In 1944, Shirley married Milo Warren of DeRuyter, NY. They raised 6 children together on their dairy farm. She is survived by 5 of her children: Cindy Warren (Jeff Neumann), Sally Isbell, Scott Warren (Grace), Roxy Hibson (Dennis), and Emery Warren (Gail). She has 12 grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren, 30 great- grandchildren, 7 great-great grands. She was pre-deceased by her son Kitt Warren in June 2021, and by all of her 7 siblings.

Shirley was known as DeRuyter’s first woman bus driver. Her other jobs included swimming instructor, Avon sales, and dairy/produce farmer. During 9 summers she voluntarily hosted NYC children in her home through the “Fresh Air Program.”

She shared her retirement years with her second husband Sam Olson. For 27 years they traveled across the USA in their camper. They kept busy by volunteering their skills to assist family and friends with building and remodeling projects. At their winter stop, Shirley taught Spanish in the Quartzite, AZ library. She would also travel to Mexico in her station wagon packed with goods to give to impoverished people.

Shirley was active in swimming, square dancing, clogging, hiking, biking and playing her accordion. She expressed herself in various forms of artwork such as wood carving, basket weaving, knitting, and even canvas paintings.

After 6 years of living in Williston, ND and after Sam’s passing in 2012, Shirley moved to be near family and friends in Cortland, NY. She prayed for others and made a confession of Christian faith in her final year.

A celebration of her life will be held at The American Legion in DeRuyter, NY, Thursday, November 3 at 6:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations to “Smile Train” and “Doctors Without Borders” would be appreciated.

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