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Gertrude Olson

COAL VALLEY — Gertrude Martha Dean Olson, 84, of Coal Valley passed away peacefully Thursday, July 25, 2013. She was born to the late John Dean and Stella Dziedzina Dean on May 31, 1929.

Gertrude — known as Gert, Trudy, Mima, Grandma — was born in Lackawanna, N.Y., the youngest of seven. She attended school in New York until her last years of high school when she moved to Chicago. She was a graduate of Parker High School in 1948. She then attended St. Bernard’s School of Nursing, where she graduated in 1954. Her expertise in premature infant care led to a successful career at Cook County Hospital.

On Nov. 7, 1959, she married Paul N. Olson of Buda and turned her care-taking proficiencies toward the care and welfare of a new family. Paul “Skip” N. Olson Jr. (deceased on Aug. 1, 1995) and Kristene J. (Olson) Christensen were blessed to be their children.

Trudy handled going from "city girl" to "farm girl" with grace. Her talents ranged from cooking for large crowds to making sure everyone working the fields was well-hydrated. Trudy had a special gift for turning her nursing skills into rescue efforts for the newborn calves on the farm. She would always make certain those around her — even the animals — were taken care of before she even thought about caring for herself. To those who were blessed to know her, she set the example for how to lead an unselfish life. Though her hobbies included collecting coins, First Day Cover Stamps and sports memorabilia, her most heart-felt passion was her grandchildren, Bryan, Katie and Ben. She was further blessed with "adopted" grandchildren in the neighborhood. These children, young and old, meant the world to her.

Trudy had an extra-special relationship with her son-in-law, Steve. Theirs was a relationship based on love and laughter.

Trudy is survived by her brother, Ed Dean of North Carolina; her daughter, Kris (Steve) of Coal Valley; her grandchildren, Bryan of Davenport, Iowa, and Katie and Ben of Coal Valley. She also has numerous nephews, nieces, great-nieces, great-nephews and many loving friends.

Preceding her in death were her son, Paul N. Olson Jr.; two of her brothers, Al and Walter; and her three sisters, Mildred Evancho, Dorothy Johnson and Esther Cundiff.

A visitation service will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory Ltd., 6601 38th Ave., Moline.

Memorials can be made to the grandchildren’s educational fund.

The family wishes to thank all of those who cared for Trudy during her last few months. The staff on both the Orthopedic Recovery Floor and the Transitional Care Unit at Unity Point Health - Trinity in Rock Island performed with grace and professionalism. Dr. B. Reddy and Dr. J.C. Clark went above and beyond the call of duty. Trudy’s last days were spent at Hope Creek Care Center, East Moline. The staff on the Medicare Floor and on 4-2 did an amazing job of caring for her in her last days and made certain her family was comfortable, as well. We also want to express deep thanks to those family and friends who provided prayers, meals, visits, cards and well-wishes over the last four months. Words cannot express how truly blessed we all are.

Online condolences may be left for her family by visiting esterdahl.com.

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