Robert 'Bob' Mills Olsson
Robert (Bob) Mills Olsson passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014 at his home in Rogue River, Oregon. He was 85 years young.
Bob was born to Edith Mills Olsson and Robert Webb Olsson on March 3, 1929 in Cambridge, Mass. After Robert Webb's passing when Bob was seven, Edith remarried Clement Booth bringing lifelong stepbrothers Edward and Whitney Booth into Bob's life.
As a boy, Bob grew up playing in the fields and woods of Southold, Long Island, NY shooting down enemy planes with stick guns with the Dickerson boys and sailing in his beloved Peconic Bay. Though Bob left Southold, it never left his heart.
Bob attended Storm King Preparatory School in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. He graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. in 1951 with a degree in Business Administration. In his youth, Bob excelled in and was recognized for his athleticism in football, basketball, and baseball.
He served as an Intelligence Officer in the Air Force during the Korean War. Once out of the Air Force Bob began his 45-year business career in sales and marketing with Time, Incorporated in New York City. In 1959 he married Natasha Sophia Tischinski, a beautiful European lady, who sadly passed away in 1974. They had one daughter, Karen Mills O'Dougherty.
A general management position with GTE Sylvania for 16 years brought Bob to Boston, New York, San Francisco, and eventually, Chicago, where he met his present wife Diane Sayre. They were married January 7, 1977 in Winnetka, Illinois and Bob happily acquired two stepdaughters, Amy Schwartz and Nina Strand.
Bob continued to pursue his avid interest in the business community joining Peterson Communications, a new startup venture at the time, in the Silicon Valley of California. He became Senior Vice President sharing their growth and success for over two decades.
Upon retirement to the California desert community of Palm Desert in 1996 Bob began his second career in politics. He became the founding president of the Coachella Valley/Heritage Palms Congress of Republicans. With heartfelt enthusiasm he managed and coordinated 10 Coachella Valley Volunteer Clubs with 12,000 members. During that time he personally placed (and eventually retrieved) over 225,000 political signs in support of local Republican candidates. In 2006 Bob was employed by the California Republican Party as the Deputy Field Director managing the Arnold Schwarzenegger Campaign for Re-Election in Riverside, California.
In 2008 Bob and Diane purchased a home in beautiful Rogue River, Oregon. He was to experience his final enthusiastic pursuit of the political dynamic with the Medford Republican Headquarters. As well as managing the office. Bob was the Chairman of the 2012 Election Campaign. Bob had a passion for educating youth about our Constitution, form of government, and political system. Recently he created the Jackson County Republican Party Educational Committee partnering with educators at Rogue Community College. During his time with the Jackson County Republican Party Bob was well known for his mediation skills and his dedication to Republican Party principles.
Bob was passionate about life and proactive toward all positive efforts embracing his world in general, be it the game of golf, his love of animals, or the future of our country.
His caring spirit will be deeply missed by his beloved family as well as his friends in this community and the communities he touched throughout his life.
Bob is survived by his wife of 37 years, Diane Olsson; daughter Karen O'Dougherty of Ashland, Ore; step-daughters, Amy Schwartz of Salem, Ore and Nina Strand of Copenhagen, Denmark; and eight grandchildren whom he loved dearly; Amelia, McKenna, Keeley, Jack, Oliver, Sofia, Max, and Elijah.
He was preceded in death by his dear mother, Edith Mills Booth and loving wife, Natasha Olsson. Bob will find his final resting place in the Southold Cemetery in Southold, NY.
A memorial tribute in Bob's honor will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, August 9, 2014 in the Petite Ballroom at the Inn at The Commons, Medford, Oregon. We encourage guests to come tell stories and experiences shared with Bob.
Bob loved cats and took in several strays. Donations may be made to C.A.T.S. (Committed Alliance To Strays) P.O. Box 56, Medford, OR 97501.
"What greater gift then the love love of a cat?" - Charles Dickens