Joan Olson

Died: February 25, 2014
Joan Olson thumbnail
Allen Memorial Light a candle Light a candle


After living a full and beautiful life, Joan Olson, 91, left her to be with the Lord on February 25, 2013. The past three years she had been residing and making many new friends at Good Shepherd Village in Endwell. She is predeceased by her husband, Oscar W. Olson, and her parents Lillian and Albert Taylor. She is survived by her loving daughter, Linda Olson Nemia, and son-in-law, Frank A. Nemia, Esq.; her beloved grandson, Justin Oscar Nemia; her granddaughter, Robin N. Gregory Esq. and her husband, James (New York City); her grandson, Jay Nemia and his wife, Carolyn (Mays Landing, New Jersey); her grandson, Frank Nemia II and his wife, Debbie Seyfried (Downington, Pennsylvania); and her grandson, James Nemia, Esq. and his wife, Yvette (Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania). She was also blessed with ten great grandchildren; Jenna and Rachel Gregory (Robin and Jim); Dillon, Moriah, Courtney, Isaiah, Nathan, and Mia Nemia (James and Yvette); Christopher Adams and Elizabeth Nemia and great great grandson, Liam Nemia (Frank Nemia II and Kim Adams). She loved her wonderful extended family including, Theodora Strates and Angelina Babcock, and the many endearing grand nieces and nephews. Through the years she was also blessed with endearing friendships with so many people, including her devoted friend of over 25 years, Bernie Meyers. Joan was born in London, England where she attended Enfield High School and graduated from Putnam’s Secretarial College. During the war, she was conscripted into war work and was trained as a decoder. As Manager of the Library for the War Office in Whitehall, London she was responsible for the firearms and ammunitions library. Following the war she took up tennis and even played several matches at Wimbleton. Always the “independent woman”, in 1947 she journeyed alone to America after WWII, and has never forgotten the moment she sail into New York Harbor into the open arms of the Statue of Liberty. She then traveled alone across country to marry her “long distance” sweetheart, Oscar, who was from Stockholm, Sweden. They took up residence in Mount Vernon, Washington where she lived for over 30 years. During that time she was a manager and buyer for several exclusive women’s clothing stores and specialty shops. Her love of the Northwest was evident in the life that she lived. The ocean was a magnet and she became an accomplished boater, sailor and fisherman…even racing her hydroplane on Lake Washington one summer. She was also an accomplished oil painter and artist and her talent was recognized by many, including the great “Walt Disney”. As a young artist she met Mr. Disney when he visited London in the 1940’s. When he saw her talent, he invited her to come to America to work at Disney Studios. Unfortunately, her father derailed the opportunity. Undaunted, when she finally came to America she continued her artistic endeavors on a part-time basis. She also loved music and dancing, sometimes on a table or two. Lately her favorite ‘date’ was to drive through the beautiful upstate countryside on sunny afternoons. Always one ready for an adventure, she traveled to many places around the world including Africa, Italy, Morocco, Peru, Sweden, Spain, Germany, France, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and throughout the Caribbean. She enjoyed life to the fullest and always had energy to spare. She also loved America and only returned to England twice since she left in 1945. But she retained her British citizenship and was a proud member of the Daughters of the British Empire for over 70 years. She also was a kind and wonderful friend and a hard worker who displayed great wisdom, courage and dignity. Always the ‘lady’, she was always ready to help a friend, but never asked for anything in return. Her favorite saying was, “Don’t worry, I’m just fine, Sweetie”. Her philosophy for all of life’s challenges was always, “Don’t wait for your ship to come in: Swim out to it!”
Private Services will be held at the request of the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joan’s memory can be made to Mental Health America, Alexandria, Virginia.

Leave a Condolence

Life Event Timeline

Help tell the story of Joan by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...

Post an Event

Timeline for Joan Olson

Died: February 25, 2014

Condolences for Joan Olson

Allen Memorial

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Allen Memorial Home.