John Olson

John William Olson

May 10, 1922 - November 25, 2019
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CUSHING – John William Olson died peacefully at the Togus Veteran’s Hospital in Augusta on Monday evening, November 25, 2019. He was 97 years old.
Born on May 10, 1922, in Cushing, he was the son of the late Samuel Hathorn and Mary Ida (McLeod) Olson. He was the last of the Olson descendants to be born in the Olson House on Hathorne Point Road and it was Hathorne Point where he was raised and made his home.
Mr. Olson started lobstering at the age of 12, and apart from serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he spent his entire life as a Lobsterman.
Following his graduation from Thomaston High School with the class of 1941, Mr. Olson enlisted in the Navy and was assigned the rank of Seaman Apprentice. He served aboard the Destroyer USS Nelson and the Aircraft Carrier USS Bon Homme Richard. He was honorably discharged as a Torpedoman’s Mate 2nd Class on December 24, 1945. During his time in the Navy he earned the Navy Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one star, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.
During the 1970’s he opened the restaurant “Our Place”. The restaurant was very successful and remained open until the winter of 1978 when two storms rolled in and took out the wharf in front of the restaurant causing it to be unsafe. While the wharfs were eventually rebuilt, the restaurant remained closed.
When he wasn’t lobstering, he had an extensive collection of tractors and enjoyed mowing fields for hay. During the winter months you could find him on one of his woodlots cutting wood or plowing snow not only for himself, but for an inexhaustible list of others as well.
Two portraits, (John Olson and Steel Rimmed) of Mr. Olson were painted by the late Andrew Wyeth and have been featured at various art galleries. As well, several books and numerous magazine articles have been written about him.
Mr. Olson was predeceased by his parents, a sister, Ida Mae Kerschner, two wives, the former Marjorie Jordan, and later Betty Gillis, both of Thomaston. He is survived by several children, Virginia Olson and her husband Paul Bilek of Venice FL; Samuel Olson of Cushing; Catherine Morris and her husband Daniel of Port Clyde; Rebecca Mitchell and her husband Michael of Rockport; Roberta Olson and her husband Bradley Yeaton of Cushing; John Jr and his wife Melissa of Cushing; and Heidi Dimauro and her husband David of Warren. He leaves numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as his special, longtime friend, Barbara Charles.
Mr. Olson will be buried in the Olson Family Cemetery located in the field below the Olson House.
A memorial service with Military Honors will be announced on a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fisher House c/o Togus VA Medical Center, 1 VA Center, Augusta ME, 04330 (or online at or to the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, PO Box 96570, Washington DC, 20077
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Service Details

Private burial with public services in the spring.


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Private Condolence

Sharon Y Glidden

Posted at 11:23am
So sorry to hear about your Dads passing! He was a great man in the town of Cushing and had a wonderful family! A lot of good memories with all the family over the years. RIP and take care of all the lobsters in heaven. Sharon & David

Don Saastamoinen

Posted at 04:55pm
Don Saastamoinen
I have known John my whole life. He owns a piece of land abutting mine and for the past 40-50 years I have been trying to get him to sell me that land. He couldn't be rushed. "The good thing is that each time I visited to see where he was in his decision making I got to visit and listen to the many things that he has observed in life in the navy and in Cushing. What a long and interesting life!!

Virginia Olson

Posted at 04:51pm
This man was my hero, always. As a little girl, he was bigger than life and I was especially enamored by his large hands which held me and his big feet which carried me from here to there and most anywhere. He loved me unconditionally and, as with all of his children, he encouraged us to spread our wings and fly. His story telling was captivating and his love for his family, the sea and his WWII military experiences were woven into all of his tales. He taught me so much and we shared laughter often and, yes, sometimes sadness but always with dignity. I cannot imagine life without him but, even so, I know he will always be there for me and with me. I am so lucky to have been able to call this man my Dad. Virginia Olson

David Vickery

Posted at 05:05pm
I'm so glad to have been his neighbor on Hathorne point for so many years. It was always a treat to stop and chat with him and hear stories from his past, which I greatly valued, trying to absorb the lessons of a life well lived. A very inspiring person who I was lucky to have known.

-David Vickery, Maloney Lane, Cushing

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