Donald Ray Olsen, 86, of Ashaway, RI and long time resident of New London, CT and Uncasville, CT, passed away on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at Westerly Hospital. He was the husband of the late Beverly Ann (Tillett) Olsen and together they had shared 59 years of marriage. Born in Worcester, MA on March 14, 1934, he was the son of the late Ray and Phyllis (Snyder) Olsen.
Don spent his birth years in Worcester, but moved to New London, CT with his family at a young age. He attended New London High School where he met the love of his life Beverly Tillett in Math class. He graduated from Buckley in 1952 and attended Worcester Tech (WPI) where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and graduated in 1956. He and Beverly were married shortly thereafter and they lived in New London while Don worked at Electric Boat. Don and Bev’s family grew and grew and they moved to Uncasville, CT in 1961. Don eventually left EB to work for Northeast Utilities in Hartford from where he retired in 1992. Don and Bev lived in the same house in Uncasville until Beverly’s passing in 2015, at which time he relocated to Ashaway.
Don’s joy in life was his providing for his big family. He built the house in Uncasville himself and undertook several expansions to the home and the property over the years. In his spare time he enjoyed golfing; he was a member at Norwich Country Club and competed for the club championship over a period of years. He was also a prolific handyman and woodworker. He enjoyed rooting for all the New England sports teams and the UConn basketball teams kept him entertained in his later years. Don’s final years were spent in the loving embrace of his family who visited him daily and shared an afternoon glass of wine watching the cows grazing on the nearby farm and the hummingbirds buzzing around his back porch.
Donald was pre-deceased by his loving wife Beverly Ann (Tillett) Olsen. Donald is survived by 7 children and their spouses, 9 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He leaves his children Deborah Rota (John) of Clinton, CT; David Olsen (Mykhanh) of Palo Alto, CA; Diana Kass (Larry) of Springfield, NJ; Donna Olsen (Jay Arcata) of Paterson, NJ; Daniel Olsen (Kathie) of Medway, MA; Denise Hall (Jeffrey) of Ashaway, RI and Douglas Olsen (Rachel) of Durham, NC. Additionally he leaves his grandchildren Rachael, Rebecca, Megan, Gretchen, Wesley, Liza, Lucas, Mitchell and Declan along with his great-grandchildren Lena and Lucy.
Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, funeral services will be held privately by the family. A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date.
Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St. Westerly, RI 02891 is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to Hospice of SE Connecticut.
For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com