Don and Marlene Manahan Olsen

A senior who has served others and is still serving is Marlene Manahan Olsen.  She was born in Butte, Montana on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1935.  She has lived in the same house in Salem for 43 years.  When she was a junior in High School her parents moved to Salt Lake, but she stayed behind in Butte and finished school.  One of her classmates was "Evel Knievel".

After finishing school she went to Yellowstone to work.  Her husband, Don, was from Spanish Fork, and she met him through a roommate, Betty Evans, who was from Spanish Fork.  After seven years Don asked her to marry him but it took another two years, in 1965, before they finaly got married.  Don passed away eight years ago.  She has one son, Mike Olsen, who lives in Genola, and a daughter, Brenda Taylor, who lives in Sandy.  She has two grandchildren, three step granddaughters , and six grandchildren.

Marlene had quite a story about being raised in Butte with the various cultures.  She was an only child.  Her father was Irish, her mother was Swedish, and she was raised as a Catholic.  Don belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they had a wonderful marriage.

After getting married she worked at what used to be the Village Inn in Provo for 25 years.  She then went to work at Mountain View HOspital in housekeeping; then she became a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) and worked at Mt. View Hospital and for Intermountain Health Care doing home health care.  She worked until she was 70.  She now volunteers for Mountainland Association of Governments where she teaches exercises at the Spanish Fork Sr. Citizens Center.  While raising her children she was a Girl Scout Leader, and involved in 4-H.  They raised sheep and went to all the stock shows and took sheep to the Utah State Fair for 22 years.

She loves the quiet peaceful town of Salem, the mountains around and the pretty places.  She remembers Salem as having one Elementary School and one L.D.S. Church building.  She likes most foods, but her favorite is "Pasties", a Welsh dish her mother made.  It is a meat pie you eat with your hands or you can put gravy on it.  She likes to knit and crochet and belongs to the "Knotty Knitters" group.  She has a talent for providing health care to others.

As a note of interest: Darrell Olsen, her husband's uncle, was one of the first people to drown in Salem Pond.  He was 17 yars old from Spanish Fork.  Don was a painter and sheep man by trade.  When they were first married they lived in Leland and had horses and cows.  She was scared to go outside because she thought one of the cows would eat her for sure.  When she first moved to Utah County she did not like it because she had lived in the big cities where there were malls.  Now she loves it and she said there are too many malls.


From "Senior Spotlight", Salem City Newsletter, June 2014 -  P 3.


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