Robert Arthur (Bob) Olson was born in Dallas 12/10/1956 and was adopted by EA (Al) and Avery (Pat) Olson. He went from crawling straight to running and never stopped. He had a vivacious zest for life and lived it to the fullest, much to the joy of his many friends. Robert graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1975 where he was a cheerleader for 2 years and played the lead “Conrad Birdie” in the school’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie”. He graduated From Austin College in 1980 with a Bachelor Degree in Theater, English and Education. He returned to Austin College and received his Master Degree in Education in 1990.
For the next 20 years he taught Dramatics and Creative Movement to students 4 years old thru 4th grade at The Lamplighter School of Dallas. He influenced thousands of children in his career. “Mr. Olson” was a gardener of sorts, as he planted seeds of possibilities in his students’ minds and gave them the freedom to grow and help seeds grow. During their 4th grade year, the children would write, score, and perform an original Opera. He also was an adjunct professor at The Northwood Institute teaching continuing education to business professionals.
He was a life-long supporter of all art forms. He enjoyed season tickets to the Dallas Opera and Dallas Symphony. He was an ardent supporter of the Dallas Arboretum, The Kimbell Art Museum of Fort Worth, The Dallas Museum of Fine Art, The Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico of Dallas and donated annually, since its inception, to Dallas Black Dance Theater.
In addition to “The Montgomery Sutton Legacy Fund at Dallas Children’s Theater” which he established in honor of a former student, he established two scholarship funds at Nicole College, in his beloved Wisconsin. These scholarships are specifically for students from the Phelps, Wisconsin area in honor of his parents, “The Pat & Al Olson Scholarship” and his sister “The Ann Olson Ivey Scholarship” which provide student scholarships annually.
He was proceeded in death by his parents and beloved sister Ann Olson Ivey. He is survived by his partner, James Noonan, nephew Garrett Ivey and wife Meredith of Arlington, niece Courtney Farley and husband Austin, of Ft Worth and numerous great nieces and nephews. Special thanks for his caregivers Rodrick Muvadi and Christopher Murungweni who took incredible care of him for the last 14 months of his life.
There will be no services. Donations may be made to “The Montgomery Sutton Legacy Fund at Dallas Children’s Theater”.
It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Tha you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you. Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad. Love, The Gillilands
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