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Bellville Times

Joseph (Joe) Franklin Olson of Bellville, age 81, passed away from this earth on Saturday, August 8, 2009, in Bellville.

Joe was born born April 29, 1928 to parents George W. and Dorothy Stallknecht Olson in Akron, Ohio.

He had a fascination with mechanics, and the desire to truly understand just exactly why things actually worked, or didn’t. His first car was a Model T Ford that he bought at the age of 12, and his love for travel and the open road followed.

Joe attended school in Bellville and Hempstead, and served in the US Navy aboard the USS Valley Forge. He graduated from the University of Houston School of Automotive Mechanics in 1950.

He married Dorothy Mae Delion of Industry on August 4, 1951. In his youth he was well known around area towns for hot rodding up & down the streets in his modified 1932 Ford Roadster. This lead to his love for, and involvement in auto racing, building engines for local dirt track cars to grand national stock cars. He made several trips to the Indianapolis 500 as a spectator, and to the Daytona 500 as a pit crew member. 

After having children, he sold the impractical roadster and built a ‘32 Ford Sedan hot rod to commute to work in Houston. Not to have anyone miss out on the fun, he also built go-carts for his three kids when they were very young.

With a love to travel, Joe took his young family on vacations by car pretty much all over the country. He and Dorothy later traveled to Washington, DC, Hawaii, Canada, and England, and enjoyed cross-country train trips from New Orleans to Chicago to Seattle, WA and California. 

Joe was always willing to stop whatever he was doing to help others fix just about any mechanical way or another. Except for his wife Dorothy, who he told, concerning her bright blue Mustang, “Drive it until it quits...then call me.”

He worked as an auto mechanic throughout his career at various car dealerships in and around the Houston area. After retiring, he kept a busy schedule rebuilding antique car motors and reviving his ‘32 Sedan. He bought and sold antique auto parts out of his van at swap meets all across Texas for many years, making lasting friendships with many other auto enthusiasts along the way.

Funeral services were held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bellville on August 11, 2009. Reverend Herb Stallknecht and Father Bob Gribble officiating. Interment at Oak Knoll Cemetery, in Bellville.

Pallbearers were Brian Buchanan, Buster Buchanan, Darcy Dehnel, Mark Mewis, Rick Moudry, and Mark Wood. Honorary Pallbearers were DJ Cramer, Bing Crosby, Terry Grabow, Edwin Moudry, OD Scott, Robert Wood, and Ed Zubicek, 

He is survived by his caring wife Dorothy Mae Delion Olson of 58 years; daughter Nancy Jo Lawrence and husband Graeme of Bellville; son Robert Olson and wife Janis of Houston; and son Jerry Olson of Bellville; grandchildren Natalie and Mitchell Olson of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Hanna and Rachel Olson of Houston; and Tristan Lawrence of Bellville; sisters Nettie Ruth Smallwood of Kingwood; Janice Meadows of California; Roma Ann Johnson of Georgia; and Dorothy Jane Olson of Washington.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents and brothers Edward and Wilbur Olson. 

Memorial gifts may be made to Brazos Valley Hospice, 302 E. Blue Bell Road, Brenham, TX 77833.

Funeral was under the direction of Schmidt Funeral Home

Posted by Joy Neely


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