Mr. Bernhard (Barney) Olson II, 76, formerly of Galesburg, Illinois and Bannockburn, Illinois died Sunday, September 27, 2020, in Mexico.
Barney was born February 9, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois the son of Reid and Mabel Olson. Barney is survived by his two children, Barney Olson III, Lakeville, Minnesota and Kirsten Olson, Rolling Meadows, Illinois and his grandson Jacob Tyler Reid Wilson, Chicago, Illinois.
Barney attended Highland Park High School where he ran cross country and track. He was a member of the 1961 State Championship Cross Country team and was inducted into the Highland Park Hall of Fame with his teammates in 2006. He continued his running career in college and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio in 1966. This love of running was passed along to Barney III, Kirsten, and Jacob who all continue to run and compete as adults. Barney then studied law and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1969. Barney was self-employed as a lawyer in Galesburg for 48 years.
Barney was passionate about many hobbies throughout his life. He was a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan with a memorabilia collection to prove it and over the years attended many stockholder conventions, meeting legendary players from past and present. As a collector, he also was a long-time member of the Red Wing Collectors Society, managing the auction from 1988-1991 and serving as the RWCS President from 1992-1997. He loved to read and listen to live music. Barney’s love of the outdoors began with his cherished memories and time at Fence Lake in Minocqua, Wisconsin. He was an avid golfer both as a fan and a participant, playing multiple times in Scotland. Barney hunted throughout his life and took many of his favorite four-legged companions along this journey. Barney also was passionate about traveling and loved sailing and scuba diving. On a trip late in 2018, he even traveled up and down the coast of Maine as he had always wanted to see the lighthouses.
Barney said many years ago that when he retired, his dream was to live on an island. He lived his dream in retirement on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, soaking in the sun, the waves, and playing countless games of Shut the Box. To quote one of Barney’s musical favorites, Jimmy Buffet, “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”
A celebration of Barney's life is scheduled for 2:00-5:00 pm Saturday, June 12, 2021, at Soangetaha Country Club in Galesburg, Illinois where we will share stories and raise a glass to Barney and his spirit of living one’s dream. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Barney Olson II Scholarship Fund ℅ F & M Bank, Galesburg, Illinois. Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services are assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com
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