Patty Olson

23 October 2019
Patty Olson

Patty Olson, age 72, died October 22, after a hard battle with cancer. Patty worked at Carleton for 36 years, beginning as a Data Systems Specialist and Computer Operator in 1974 and retiring as a User Support Specialist with Information Technology Services in 2010. With the huge changes in computing during those years, Patty kept up with learning about all the new technologies. She launched into everything with a smile and positive energy, which made working with her a real joy. Patty will be greatly missed by many.

Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, October 26, 2019 at First English Lutheran Church in Faribault. Visitation will be held from 4:00-8:00 PM Friday, October 25, 2019, at Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory of Faribault. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. A more complete obituary is at the Parker Kohl funeral home website.

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  • 2019-10-23 14:44:59
    Mary Steil

    What a wonderful woman. She was the person I turned to when address labels were needed for admissions mailings. Always, gracious, always kind, she made me feel at home. When my husband died she met me for lunch every week, listening to my grief, sharing her own. Those lunches were incredibly helpful, something stable in a world turned upside down. Patty, I'll always remember you. I'll always keep you in my heart.

  • 2019-10-24 20:58:48
    Carl Henry

    The way I figure it, Patty spent about 18 years in Laird basement (punch cards and all) and another 18 in CMC. Either place, she was a solid fixture in helping people get what they needed out of the machines. I am glad to have worked with her.

  • 2019-11-03 09:45:29
    Paula Lackie

    I worked in parallel with Patty for many years in the IT hallway of the cmc. I enjoyed listening to her recount experiences of past technologies - always keeping abreast of the next thing and staying current. Her career spanned the most exciting times in computing technology. She was another under-sung heroine of the early computer age. She was such a joy - even when things weren't quite right, I could count on Patty to be a good listener and provide a reasoned response.

    I miss knowing that she alive and spreading her irrepressible kindness. Patty, I'm not at your capacity, but I will do what I can to keep spreading that spirit.

  • 2019-11-03 14:33:34
    Andrea Nixon

    I met Patty during my interview to work at Carleton in 1990 and count myself very lucky to have been able to work with her for 20 years.

    Patty saw plenty of technological change in her time. One example comes to mind. It is hard to imagine in the Internet era but for years, Carleton was very invested in getting recruitment letters in the mail before other colleges. This entailed going to great lengths in securing the "mag tapes" with data about prospective students and uploading them into our computer systems of the day. Patty was part of the "anchor leg" of that team. Everyone that worked with Patty knew that we could always count on her. She was as trustworthy a person as they come.

    Patty was more than that. She was a joy to be around. I'll always remember her laugh and how generous and welcoming she was to a new colleague that she took under wing.

    My heart goes out to Patty's family and friends. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  • 2019-11-06 20:44:13
    Colin MacArthur

    Patty supervised me as a student worker during her last couple of years at Carleton. She embodied the best of Carleton staff spirit: cheery, helpful, straightforward and kind. The world is a little less bright without her.

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