Gary Olson December 30, 1970 – February 9, 2022
Gary Warren Olson, father, son, brother and friend passed in his sleep in Anchorage, Alaska, in the early hours of Feb. 9, 2022
Gary was born in Anchorage on Dec. 30, 1970. He grew up in Alaska, playing sports and fishing and hunting with family and friends. Gary had a passion for basketball and excelled as a center for both Service and Dimond high schools. He worked in the construction industry during the summers while he was earning his degree in construction management.
In 1996, Gary earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management at Central Washington University. Upon graduation, he started a family and began his career as a project manager with his brother’s construction firm. He later started and operated his own company, Longfield Services Inc., until his interests turned towards nonprofit causes. From 1999 to 2002, Gary was elected to the Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee.
In 2002, Gary founded the Alaska Moose Federation and served as its Executive Director until 2015. During his tenure the AMF established the orphaned moose calf relocation program, salvaged thousands of moose, created countless miles of diversionary snow trails, cleared rights-of way in the Mat-Su and on the Kenai Peninsula, and advocated and fought for various transportation projects meant to reduce the incident rate of vehicle-moose collisions. After leaving the AMF, he has volunteered every year to assist Moose Mama’s with their ongoing orphaned moose calf relocation program.
Since 2013 Gary was a member of the ChangePoint Church family. He was one of the founders of the Security Cadre, volunteering to perform body detail work for the pastors on days of worship.
In 2018, Gary began working on the preservation of Hangar 1 at Kulis Former Air National Guard Base, seeing to it that the hangar was listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the goal of turning Hangar 1 into a home for a veteran’s internship program that would be dedicated to the mission of bringing young veterans together with previous generations of veterans to restore heritage aircraft. He also believed that Hangar 1 would be an ideal location for his dream of an Arctic Warfare Museum, which is meant to compliment the DOD Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies and provide an apprenticeship platform for VIPER Transitions.
In 2019, Gary and Kyle Kaiser co-founded the Veteran Internships Providing Employment Readiness Program, which is now called VIPER Transitions.
When Gary gave to a cause he gave it his all, often forsaking himself for the benefit of others. Gary’s can-do attitude and optimistic nature earned him a great number of followers and friends. Gary’s friends and vanquished foes knew he never gave less than 110% to his chosen causes. He rarely, if ever, accepted no for an answer.
Gary leaves behind his father and mother, Warren and Janice Olson of Anchorage; daughters, Alycia (24), Rachael (22) and Whitley (16) of Houston, Texas; older brother, David of Anchorage; and sister-in-law, Casey and niece Grace of Spokane, Wash.
A memorial celebrating his life will be held at ChangePoint Church at 1 p.m., on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Please come as you are, dress casually, be prepared to laugh, maybe cry, and otherwise celebrate the bigger than life person that Gary was. And please … no flowers, as Gary would appreciate all donations to go to his favorite programs: Moose Mama’s and VIPER Transitions or contribute to his family’s GoFundMe, Gary Olson’s Memorial Fund. He will be buried in Cooper Landing, Alaska, later in the spring.
STORIES FROM NORTHERN CANADA AND ALASKA
Hi, I am Dennis’ wife Chris McClure and I am sorry to bring bad news. Dennis died September 28, 2021 of a massive heart attack.
To see his obituary please click the link provided.
Anchorage Park Foundation
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To register to vote, or to update your voter registration information, visit voterregistration.alaska.gov.
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