Eric ‘Ric’ Jon Olson

Eric “Ric” Jon Olson, 72, of Sweet Home passed away Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021.

He was born Feb. 12, 1949 in Kenosha, Wis., to Walter R. and Margaret Erna (Kuehn) Olson.

He was drafted into the United States Army in March of 1969. He trained at Ft. Ord, Calif. He arrived in Vietnam Dec. 4, 1969, where he served in the Army’s 25th Division, 2-14 Infantry, First Platoon, Alpha Company in Cu Chi and Dau Tieng in the Ho Bo Woods, where he walked point for some seven months through an area he later discovered was the most heavily booby-trapped in southern Vietnam.

Ric was injured by shrapnel and discharged in 1970 after receiving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, as well as three Army commendations, two with a “V” device for valor, and three air medals, each recognizing 25 hours logged aboard a helicopter. He arrived home Nov. 11, 1970.

In his younger years he lived in “the Valley” in Southern California, settling in Garden Grove. After Ric married Sue, they moved to Stanton, Calif. In 1976 he moved his family to Oregon, living in Eugene, Brownsville and finally settling in Sweet Home in October 1984.

Ric was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America, VFW, Voyers American Legion.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing and was instrumental in the creation of a fishing pond for veterans, which included a 52-foot-long, 8-foot-wide fishing dock.

Ric is survived by his wife, Susan Olson of Sweet Home; children Erick Jr. and Angela Olson of Keizer, Patty (Josh) Hankins of Sweet Home, Tim Olson and Kiymn Taylor of Tualatin, and Debbie Walvatne (Cody) of Sweet Home; grandchildren Emma (Brandon) Morris of Jefferson; Julia Olson, Luci Hankins, Owen Hankins, Allison Hankins, Eli Olson, Tobias Walvatne; great-grandchild Barron Morris; and siblings April Osborn Harris of Reedsport, Dave and sister-in-law Cat Olson of Lebanon, and Alma Olson of Antigua, Guatemala.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Marg Bennett in 1992, Walt Olson in 2005; step-parent Harold Bennett; grandparents Reuben Olson in 1959, Rose Olson in 1983, Paul Kuehn in 1968, and Margaret Kuehn in 2002.

Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel.

Graveside service with military honors will be held at Willamette National. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Hillside Fellowship in Sweet Home.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.