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GENE STRATTON-PORTER OLSON (published on June 13, 2009)

GENE STRATTON-PORTER OLSON (SYMES) Gene Olson passed away on June 7, 2009, with her daughter, Louise, and granddaughter, Jessica, at her bedside. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 59 years, Carl Jonas Olson, on March 9 of this year. She is also predeceased by her parents, Howard George and Louise Nina Symes; her brothers, Geordie and Arthur; and her sisters, Myra, Lucille, and Dora. Gene was born and raised in Winnipeg where her family operated the Beehive Grocery in St. Vital. She graduated from Gordon Bell High School and began working at the Bank of Montreal (Portage and Main Branch) and then at Moore Business Forms where she met Carl. Carl and Gene were married on September 2, 1949. They raised their family in St. James as Gene continued her career, working for Air Canada and Revenue Canada. The years Gene most enjoyed were those spent as a librarian. After studies at Red River College and the University of Winnipeg, Gene became the librarian at Brookland Collegiate and then Bruce Junior High in the St. James School Division. She also worked at the Museum of Man and Nature, and finally, spent nine wonderful years as the librarian at St. Paul's High School, retiring in 1988. Gene loved learning, and after retirement she continued her studies at the University of Winnipeg, taking seniors' classes in history, religion, literature, and music. Service to others was of utmost importance to Gene, and she volunteered her time to multiple organizations. Most notably, she gave 35 years to the Manitoba Music Festival and 20 to the Children's Book Market. One of her proudest achievements was the extensive network of picture pamphlet files she set up in Winnipeg's inner-city schools in the 60s and 70s. Gene was also skilled at sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Her family was always outfitted in the most beautiful handmade clothes, and many families in Winnipeg were helped through the winter by the hundreds of pairs of mitts she donated through various schools and inner-city agencies. Gene was a strong-willed, determined person. She will be remembered with love by her family and friends and all those she touched through her many acts of kindness. Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me. Cremation has taken place. Carl's and Gene's ashes will be interred in the Gimli Cemetery at Loni Beach. Many thanks to the 4th floor staff at the Convalescent Home of Winnipeg for the compassionate, gentle care provided to Gene over the past two months. NEIL BARDAL INC. 204-949-2200

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