Perry Maranius Olsen

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Perry Maranius Olsen

Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Death: September 14, 1972 (86)
Oakland, Alameda, CA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Peder Mathias Olsen and Anne Marie Olsen
Husband of Dorothy Frances Olsen
Father of Dorothy G. Olsen; Marjorie Elizabeth Higginbotham and Perry Arthur Olsen
Brother of Jennie Marie Henning and Osborne Theomun Olsen

Managed by: Private User
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About Perry Maranius Olsen

Perry Maranius Olsen (1886-1972) was the Acting General Secretary for the Oakland, California Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). He was later a worker at the American Sisalkraft Company. (b. January 13, 1886; Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA - d. September 14, 1972; Oakland, Alameda County, California, 94602, USA) Social Security Number 545015294.

Parents: He was the son of Anne Marie Jensen (1854-1896) and Peter Matthias Olsen (1849-1896).

Birth: January 13, 1886 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

Siblings: His siblings include: Osborne Theomun Olsen (1883-1971) aka Asbjorn T. Olsen, owner of Osborne Art Studios in Chicago which existed from 1910 to 1973, who married Augusta Schmidt (1883-1974) aka Gussie Schmidt; Jennie Olsen (1881-?) who was born in May of 1881; and Harriet Olsen (1889-?) who was born in March of 1889.

Annus horribilis: His father was assaulted in 1895 and left with a head injury that left him incapacitated. He died in the 1896 heat wave. His wife died the same year from cancer. His paternal uncle, Theodore Johan Olsen (1850-1896) then raised the children. He was hit by a train just three months later. A maternal aunt then raised the children.

Marriage: Perry married Dorothy Frances Penfield (1887-1976) on May 17, 1912 in Oakland, California. She was born on January 31, 1887 to George Franklin Penfield (1852-1911) and Adelaide Frances Sherman (1853-1938) in Rockford, Illinois.

YMCA: "Members of the Association and friends of the institution will be glad to know that Perry M. Olsen, who for the past two years has stood behind the desk and has warmly greeted the thousands who have entered the building, has succeeded to the office of membership secretary. Mr. Olsen, with his congenial disposition, happy smile. and above all with his genuine interest in Association men and methods, cannot help but make a success in this new position. Mr. Olsen became interested in Association work at Chicago a few years ago, when he was a student in the Association Institute of that city. A trip East and through Canada visiting Associations at Cleveland, Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal and other large cities and a definite piece of work rendered in a membership campaign in Oakland cemented his plans for his life's work. He attended the Summer Institute at Lake Geneva in 1912 and thus made further preparations for the new tasks he is to assume. We bespeak for him the hearty support of the entire membership." (Source: The Oakland Young Men's Christian Association publication on January 30, 1913)

Children: They had the following children: Dorothy G. Olsen (1915-?) Graham; Marjorie E. Olsen (1917-?) Higgingbotham, and Perry Arthur Olsen (1925-2009), a physician.

Chicago, Illinois: They appear in the 1900 US census living in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois in the home of their aunt: Katherine Jensen (1857-?) who was born in December of 1857 who married Steffan Barca (c1855-c1900).

Oakland, California: He moved to Oakland, California in 1906 "when he came west with the Southern Pacific Railroad". He appears as a boarder in the 1910 US census.

World War I: He registered for the draft on September 12, 1918 while working at the YMCA at 2101 Telegraph in Oakland. He was living with his wife at 320 Santa Clara Avenue in Oakland. Perry had blue eyes and red hair. By 1919 he was the secretary for the Oakland, California Civic Welcome Committee.

World War II: By the time of the World War II draft in 1942 he was working in Oakland, California for the Sisal Kraft Company. The company had its headquarters at 205 West Wacker Drive in Chicago.

Death: He died on September 14, 1972, in Oakland, Alameda County, California. His remains were donated to medical science.

Memories of Perry Olsen: Bette Parker Patten wrote in 2006: "Perry Olson spent his adult life in Oakland, Alameda County, California with his wife, Dorothy and children. He passed away September 14, 1972. My Dad did correspond with him on occasion, but I was little at the time."

Memories of Perry Olsen: Sue Higginbotham Chadwick wrote in 2014: "Perry Maranius Olsen was my dear Grandpa. He did have red hair and blue eyes. I recall that one of his eyes was glass, but other than it not opening the same or tracking like the other eye you wouldn't have realized it wasn't his real eye. His daughter Dorothy was born 21 Aug 1914 and my mother, Marjorie, was born 25 Mar 1916. Grandpa was orphaned at the age of 9 and was raised by his Aunt Katherine, a deaf mute. He lived with her until he was 20 years old. He sold newspapers to help support the family. During the Great Depression of 1929, Grandpa's childhood friend, Art Anderson, offered him the opportunity to buy stock in a reinforced paper company he was forming and the chance to be the Western representative of that company. The main office was in Chicago and Grandpa became the Western Manager, traveling throughout 7 western states. He became a very successful businessman with the Sisalkraft paper company (one word). A couple of years before Grandpa passed away, he spent a few hours sharing with me details of his life. He said he enjoyed playing basketball, marbles and football when he was a young man. Children were perhaps his greatest love. He took time to take us to the park to play or feel the ducks. He enjoyed entertaining children with his magic tricks and was very generous with his financial resources. We spent many hours playing 'Rummy' and Grandpa would always help me wash dishes after dinner. I suppose there was no one in my childhood that was dearer to my heart than my Grandpa Olsen. He was a gentle, kind man who spent hours telling me of 'Uncle Wiggley' and the 'Skillery Skallery Alligator'."

Relationships: Perry Maranius Olsen (1886-1972) was the first cousin twice removed of Richard Arthur Norton (1958).

Uncompleted research: Does he appear back in Chicago in the 1920 census, selling flowers?

Research: Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958) for Findagrave starting on October 22, 2004. Updated on September 14, 2009 with information from the WWII draft registration. Updated on January 14, 2014 with the anecdote from Sue Higginbotham Chadwick. Updated on February 10, 2014 with information on the annus horribilis and his date of marriage. Updated on August 29, 2014 that he was the secretary for the Oakland, California Civic Welcome Committee in 1919. Updated on July 2, 2018 with the text of his YMCA biography and the correct date and place of his marriage.

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Perry Maranius Olsen's Timeline

January 13, 1886
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Age 28
Age 29
May 8, 1924
Age 38
Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States
September 14, 1972
Age 86
Oakland, Alameda, CA, United States