American Patriotic 10

James Gary Olsen

June 28, 1936 ~ March 17, 2022 (age 85)


James Gary Olsen passed away peacefully with his loving children at his side on Thursday, 17 Mar 2022 at the age of 85. He was the first born of five children to James Olsen and Isabelle Janette Parker Olsen.  To avoid confusion over his father’s name he went by his middle name Gary.  He was born at the family home in Ovid, Idaho on 28 Jun 1936 and raised on the family ranch.

Gary was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Fielding High School, Paris, ID, in 1954 with a strong interest in Science.  He attended Utah State in Logan, Utah and joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), training to be a future officer while going to school.

After two years of college he was called on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served in Northern California and Nevada.  He first met his future wife Kathleen Mae Decker while on his mission in Nevada.

After his mission in 1958, Gary returned to school and continued his ROTC training at Brigham Young University.  While pursuing a degree in Physics and a minor in Mathematics, Gary also pursued Kathleen Decker who was going to the University of Utah at the time. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on 12 Aug 1960.

After graduation, Gary was trained as a pilot by the US Air Force and served to the rank of Captain.  He loved to fly, and was first stationed at Craig Air Force base in Alabama flying radar missions over Cuba before serving as a pilot in Vietnam.

Gary and Kathy began a family in 1961, and they had four children by the time he finished his military service in 1966.  He began a satisfying career with Western Airlines but continued to serve through the reserve air national guard from 1967 to 1969.  He flew out of the San Francisco airport until 1985 and then transferred to the Salt Lake City airport where he continued to fly as a pilot for Delta until he retired in 1996.  The generous flying benefits provided Gary with the opportunity to take his family on numerous vacation trips, Hawaii being the family favorite.

Gary served through many callings with the LDS Church and never allowed himself to be idle for long.  In addition to church callings, he stayed active through numerous hobbies including Model Trains and Airplanes, Chemistry, Astronomy, Shooting, Photography, Scuba diving/Snorkeling, Sailing, Tennis, Racquetball, Water skiing, Snow skiing, Hiking, Genealogy and Computer electronics.  He liked to sing and whistle, to make puzzles, to listen to classical music, and to eat a good meal.

He lost the love of his life Kathleen to cancer in 2010 and has been eager for the chance to be reunited with her ever since. Gary was a generous hard-working man, tenacious and organized and always supportive of everyone he knew.  He will be greatly missed.

Gary is survived by his children: Robert (Donna), Lorraine (Steve), Richard and Linda, grandchildren: Brandon, Brittany, Ashley and Charles (his mother Marilyn), Jesse (Alesha), Cody, Kurtis, siblings: Bonnie, Charles (Marsha) and Michael (Mona), as well as many in-laws, nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be held Saturday, 26 March 2022 from 1200-1400 hrs (12:00 -2:00 pm for civilians) at the Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 South 300 East, Pleasant Grove, UT.  Interment next to his wife will take place following the viewing at the Lindon City Cemetery, 600 North 200 East, at 1430 hrs (2:30 pm).  Condolences may be shared with the family at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Gary, please visit our floral store.

Recording of Service


March 26, 2022

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Olpin Family Mortuary
494 South 300 East
Pleasant Grove, Utah 84062

Graveside Service
March 26, 2022

2:30 PM
Lindon City Cemetery
600 North 200 East
Lindon, UT 84042

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