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Community will celebrate Sherm Olsrud at memorial

The family of Sherm Olsrud is inviting store employees, business connections and community members to a memorial service for the local philanthropist and businessman.

“There were just too many people who wanted to go to the funeral,” said Steve Olsrud, Sherm and Wanda Olsrud’s son. “To me, it’s just more of a chance for everyone to get together.”

Steve said the event, which will take place Saturday, June 29, in the Olsrud Arena at the Jackson County Expo, will be “kind of an upbeat ... chance for everyone to get together, remember the good times.”

Sherm Olsrud, who died May 14 at the age of 95, left a lasting legacy in the Rogue Valley and beyond through philanthropy with his wife, Wanda. They donated truckloads of food to organizations such as ACCESS and were major contributors to many buildings and projects, ranging from the fence at McLoughlin Middle School to an after-school center at Kids Unlimited and both the original and rebuilt playground in Bear Creek Park in Medford.

They also supported local students, both through scholarships at Southern Oregon University from the Sherm and Wanda Olsrud Endowed Scholarship, and scholarships for students who participated in FFA.

Olsrud stores also sell meat from FFA animals.

Sherm and Wanda Olsrud married in 1947, and bought Wilson’s Sausage Kitchen in Eugene in 1958. Three years later, they opened Sherm’s 24-Hour Market, the first in the area. They sold the business in 1967 and bought Thunderbird Market in Medford. Their business eventually expanded to Klamath Falls, the Food 4 Less store in Medford and into Roseburg. The company employs more than 600 people.

The memorial service will begin at 1:30 p.m. and last for an hour and a half to two hours, said Steve Olsrud. The Expo is at 1 Peninger Road, Central Point.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

A memorial will be held for local businessman and philanthropist Sherm Olsrud Saturday at the Expo in Central Point. Mail Tribune/file photo