Barb Olesen: 1949-2023
Barbara “Barb” Jean Olesen, 73, of Turkey Ridge, S.D., passed away peacefully surrounded by family at the Sanford Hospice Cottage on April 9, 2023 after a brief courageous journey with cancer. A funeral service was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on April 13 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Hurley, S.D. Visitation was scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. April 12, also at the church. Interment will be at Spring Valley Lutheran Church Cemetery of rural Viborg, S.D, which overlooks the Turkey Ridge Valley and the Olesen Farm.
Barb was born Oct. 6, 1949, to Virgil and Marian (Hunstad) Hamann in Luverne, Minn. She grew up near Hardwick, Minn., and graduated from Jasper (Minn.) High School in 1967. After high school, she attended Pipestone (Minn.) Area Vo-Tech, graduating with a degree in fashion merchandising, advertising and management.
Her career was with Lewis Drug in Sioux Falls as their advertising manager. It was in Sioux Falls, S.D., that she met the love of her life, Larry Olesen. They were married June 12, 1971 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. In 1973, the couple moved to their current farm north of Turkey Ridge. They were blessed with two daughters and one son. She helped raise her family, milk cows, run errands for the farm, and cook meals for helping hands.
The focus of her life was most definitely her family. She was happiest when surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She often commented how lucky she was that her children and grandchildren lived so close. She enjoyed baking, making lefse at a holiday time, gardening, and quilting. Snowmen decorations and cookbooks were things she liked to collect. Her Sunday afternoon ritual during Fall and Winter was spent cheering on the Minnesota Vikings. In 2019, she and her oldest daughter, Kristi, enjoyed attending a Vikings vs. Broncos game in Minneapolis, Minn., in honor of Barb’s 70th birthday. She enjoyed the annual weekend shopping trips with her friends and other get togethers. In recent years, Barb and Larry spent many summer evenings driving a classic 1956 Chevy car with their car club.
She will always be remembered for having a servant’s heart, helping others or volunteering for a purpose, and for her kind and pleasant demeanor. She was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church serving in many roles, and the Turner County Extension Club years ago.
Grateful for having shared her life are her husband, Larry, of Turkey Ridge; two daughters: Kristi (Biswajit) Nayak of Sioux Falls, Julie (Matt) Viet of Parker, S.D.; one son Lance (Elizabeth) of Turkey Ridge; four grandchildren: Luke and Levi Viet and Paige and Clint Olesen; three brothers: Roger (Deanna) Hamann of Slayton, Minn., Gene (Barb) Hamann of Luverne, and Neil Hamann of Hardwick; one sister Nancy Hamann of Aurora, Colo.; mother-in-law Fern Olesen of Hurley; one brother-in-law Duane Olesen of Rapid City, S.D.; two sister-in-laws: Lerae Olesen of Sioux Falls and Diane Hamann of Luverne; along with many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother Doug Hamann; father-in-law LaVern E. Olesen; and one sister-in-law Jackie Olesen.