Pauline M. Olson

Service of Remembrance for Pauline M. Olson, 83, of Hettinger, ND will be Friday, January 25, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hettinger Lutheran Church in Hettinger.  Rev. Kathleen Dettmann will officiate and burial will follow at the Hettinger Cemetery.  Visitation will be Thursday, January 24 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. followed by a Gathering of Family and Friends all at the Centennial Chapel of Evanson Jensen Funeral Home in Hettinger, ND.

Pauline passed away peacefully at the West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, ND on Wednesday evening, January 16, 2019.

Pauline (Purington) Olson was born to Amos and Gladys (Marheine) Purington just north of the Railroad tracks in her parents’ home in Rhame, ND June 9, 1935. At age 2 her family moved to Scranton ND where her parents owned and ran the Albion hotel and cafe.  Her younger years were filled with school and working for her parents. Her father also ran a cafe in Gascoyne at the same time. Pauline’s Independence started at a young age. We all know the relationships Mothers and Daughters can be tricky at times! When Pauline was to be working in Scranton and would butt heads with her mother, she would hop the Dinky (a small train) that ran to Gascoyne and spend the rest of the day with her Dad working in Gascoyne and take the Dinky home again at night.

Pauline entered the 8th grade at Hettinger Public School and graduated in 1953.  In 1954 Pauline married Kermit Samdal to which their son Lonnie was born.  She worked for the 1st National Bank which was located just South of the Pastime where Haley J. Evans currently has her offices. She was part of the move to the North end of Main Street to the building Dacotah Bank currently occupies.  1964 Pauline attended the Dale Carnegie course in Lodgepole, SD. She received an award for Most Improvement, was the winner of the Best Speech award and received the Highest Award for Achievement.

In 1965 Pauline married Harold Olson and daughter LeAnn came along.  Pauline held a full-time job as a bookkeeper for John Deere for many years and became good friends with many of the farmer/ranchers in the area. During this time, she was also a full time hired man at the farm her and Harold owned just north of town. She spent many of her lunch hours taking lunch to him in the field.  After her day at John Deer she would also come home, change clothes and head to the farm to do whatever was necessary to make a go of it. She worked hard and had many stories to tell of driving grain trucks, stacking hay and gathering cattle and calves in the harsh winters.

In the late 80’s early 90’s Pauline worked for Dr. Paul Retzer and Hettinger Radiology. After Dr. Retzer retired in 1994. Pauline was asked to move to Dillon, MT and become the office manager for Dillon Radiology and Dr.’s Bill Austin and Lou Rudolf. She proved herself worthy of the position and brought many successes to their practice. During her time there, a great friendship with the Rudolf family bloomed. She became a fill in Grandma to the Rudolf children and spent many hours playing 3-man Gin and nurturing them with a Grandmas love when they were “sick”.

Harold and Pauline moved back to Hettinger in 1997. In 2000 Pauline joined forces with Cynthia Erickson and formed Prairie Bouquet. They created quite a business making soaps, lotions and body gels that are still talked about today. This business flourished until 2005 when the two ladies sold it. In 2001 at the age of 66 Pauline started and completed Real Estate School becoming a successful, licensed Real Estate Agent working for Luckow Real Estate. This was one of her favorite jobs.  She sold many of the homes here in Hettinger and found great pleasure when she was able to help a young family purchase their first home. She received the Champion of Affordable Housing Award tin 2006 at the North Dakota/South Dakota Realtors Convention. This was a huge honor!

Pauline was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Eagles Auxiliary (President), BPW, a number of card groups and the Social Service Board and many other community minded groups in town. When she was feeling better you could always find her having a laugh with the “Coffee Girls”. Many shenanigans, friendships and good times were shared by that group of ladies.  Pauline’s door was always open for a friend and she always had room for 1 more. Be prepared however to hear stories of her children and grandchildren. She was beyond proud of each of them. Their successes and interests were shared with everyone at every visit. Her strength, love, kindness and determination will be a great Legacy carried on by those that loved her.  Her family.

Grateful for having shared in her life are her children, Lonnie (Cheryl) Samdal, Litchfield Park, AZ and LeAnn (Scott) Fitch, Hettinger, ND, her grandchildren, Jamie (Adam) Powell, Los Altos, CA, Erik (Julie Bradford) Samdal, Mountain View, CA, Alexis Hicks, Hettinger, ND, Carrie Samdal (fiance Joshua Sheldon), Tempe, AZ, Mackenzie Hicks, Hettinger, ND and Tatum Fitch, Hettinger, ND, Alyssa Fitch (Kane Melling), Hettinger, ND and Tanner Fitch, Rapid City, SD and four great grandchildren, Amelia and William Powell and Tyler and Bentley Fitch and special friend, Dr. Lou Rudolf and his children, Kate, Joe and Ellie.

Pauline was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, Kermit Samdal and Harold Olson, siblings, Caroline Zimmerman, Earl Purington and Roberta Bailey and a daughter in infancy.

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