Gilbert Olawsky


Gilbert W. Olawsky, age 98, of Blue Earth, passed away on April 4, 2023, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center, Blue Earth. Memorial service will be held at 11AM on Friday, April 28, 2023 at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Blue Earth. A time for visitation will be held from 5-7 PM at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center in Blue Earth on Thursday and one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, in Armour, S.D. Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service assisted the family with the arrangements.

Gilbert was born on March 24, 1925 in Douglas County, S.D., the son of Wilhelm & Bertha (Neugebauer) Olawsky. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church, commonly known as Hillside Lutheran Church, and was an active member in Luther League Youth activities, serving a term as district president. He graduated from Armour High School in 1943 and continued farming with his father for a few years. On June 8, 1947, he married his high school sweetheart, Irene Crutchett, who preceded him in death on July 12, 2010, after 63 years of wedded bliss. In December of 1947 they moved to Mitchell, S.D. where he began his lifetime career as a livestock buyer for Hormel Foods. As a founding member of First Lutheran Church, he also taught Sunday school and served on various committees and boards. He and Irene enjoyed camping and motorcycling all over the country with their three children, continuing this love of motorcycles and travel throughout their life. In 1978 he was transferred to Blue Earth, M.N. to manage the Hormel buying station. As an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, he served on committees and was integral in the building project and the food booth at the county fair. He also enjoyed participating in the Lions and traveling with Irene for many years. Because everyone in Blue Earth welcomed them with open arms, Blue Earth was always their true home. They remained there after his retirement in 1985, enjoying many friendships and church and community activities. Helping farmers in the spring and fall also filled a void that he enjoyed in his youth. Gilbert enjoyed his retirement years with Irene, traveling and spending the cold Minnesota winters in various parts of the South, as well as watching their grandchildren grow up. Gil will be remembered as a giving person who always had time to help people with his handyman talent and his positive attitude and sense of humor. His favorite remark was “If it was made by machine it could be fixed by hand”.

Gilbert is survived by his sons, Douglas (Suzanne) Olawsky, of Webster, S.D., and Ralph (Sue) Olawsky, of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and his daughter, Peggy (Jim) Jackson, of Bellefonte, P.A.; Also surviving are his six grandchildren, Amy (Ruben) Reyes, Nathan Olawsky, Matt (Brittany) Lichter, Pete Lichter, Brent (Jeannie) Olawsky, and Courtney (Andrew) Gardner; as well as his and three great-grandchildren, Mark Reyes, Isaac Lichter, and Evelyn Lichter. In addition to his loving wife, Irene, and his parents, Gil was predeceased by his two brothers, Wilfred and Ruben Olawsky.

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