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Leone R. Olson Nov. 19, 1924 - April 27, 2013

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Leone R. Olson Nov. 19, 1924 - April 27, 2013

MILACA - Leone Rosella (Bang) Olson, of Milaca, formerly of Willmar, died Saturday, April 27, at Elim Home in Milaca following an extended illness.

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Memorial services will be Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m., at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar. Interment will be at Terrace Lawn Memory Gardens in Montevideo. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar and one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer's Association.

Leone was born November 19, 1924 to Alfred and Nellie (Anderson) Bang, in Grace Township, near Maynard, MN. She graduated from Maynard High School in 1942, and following a teacher's training program she began teaching country school in 1943. She was united in marriage to Leonard A. Olson on December 18, 1946, at Buffalo Lake Church, DeGraff, MN. The couple lived in the Maynard area for the next sixteen years while Leonard farmed and Leone taught.

She taught in numerous rural locations in Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties while working toward her Bachelor's Degree in Education, which she earned in 1962 from St. Cloud Teacher's College. In 1958, Leone and Leonard moved to Willmar, MN, where Leonard owned and managed the Gambles and Tempo stores, and she began teaching for the Willmar Public School district, where she remained until her retirement in 1984 after forty years of teaching.

In 1968, Leone and Leonard adopted a two-year-old daughter, Karla Jane, and raised her in Willmar and Alexandria, MN, where the family also had a resort business. After retirement, the couple wintered in Mesa, AZ, for twenty years until health prevented their travel. During their married life, they traveled extensively around the United States and Europe numerous times.

In 2011, Leone moved to Milaca, MN, to the Elim Home, when Leonard and their daughter relocated to the town.

Leone was active both in Vinje Lutheran Church, in Willmar, and in the Elks & Does organization, including serving as President of the Willmar chapter of Does one year. She was a lifelong traveler, lover of music, and avid golfer, dancer, and card player. She loved entertaining and throwing parties, and will always be remembered for her ready smile, her infectious laugh, her beautiful alto, her love of children, and her absolute professionalism and dedication to the teaching profession.

She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers, and infant daughter, Darcee Ann (1957). She is survived by her husband, Leonard; daughter Karla Olson and son-in-law Justin Helmer of Milaca; step-granddaughter Veronica Beaty of Sacramento, CA; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

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