Myrtle Marie Olson Andres

| June 9, 2020 8:21 AM

Myrtle Marie Olson was born in a barn (or so she told us) July 11, 1926, in the farmlands of eastern Montana to John Elmer Olson and Myrtle Nadine (Cusker) Olson.

Descended from one of the original pioneering families of the state, she grew up the daughter of a farmer in the middle of the Great Depression. Undergoing such a crucible early on in life created an incredibly complex, strong and independent woman.

Myrtle passed away on February 25, 2020, at the magnificent age of 93-and-a-half, after enjoying the blessing of living on her own until a month before her passing. She is survived by her children, Allan (Kay) Olson, Carol Sidmore Miller, Wanda Sidmore, Bonnie Sidmore, Lloyd (Sabrina) Sidmore and Daniel (Hope) Sidmore.

She moved to Lincoln County in 1959 and made it her home for most of the next 60-plus years. She was a longtime employee of the Libby Public School District, where she frequently took her grandchildren with her while she cleaned, providing them hours of enjoyment racing through empty hallways and reading in the library. Retiring in 1983, Myrtle continued to enjoy the many friendships developed during her years with the school district.

Myrtle loved traveling and driving cool cars. She could be seen around town in her gold Chevrolet Camaro and would drive around Montana visiting her siblings, often taking a grandchild or two with her. After her retirement, she started traveling with her eldest sister Emma, taking road trips across the country to visit friends. She would fly to California and Hawaii to visit her children and grandchildren.

Baking proved another great passion. She made pies, cookies, muffins and bread — but none were as special to her or to her family as her lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread.

She was known for her creativity, resourcefulness, perseverance in the face of adversity and her love of meeting people. Over the years, she corresponded with hundreds of pen pals and developed lifelong friendships with these people. In 2002, Myrtle became a member of the Libby Christ Lutheran Church, which quickly became an important and treasured place — giving her a new community of friends and support during the latter part of her life.

Myrtle is also survived by her youngest brother, John Elmer “Junior” Olson; her 18 grandchildren, Monte Kinamon, Tina Robinson, Donna Robinson Lance, Debra Robinson Lee, Serena Sidmore, Teresa Kinamon Archie, Kami Olson Bourke, Rebecca Robinson Drummond, Sommer Sidmore Castor, Kevin Olson, Amy Stang Farrell, Kiersten Norman Koster, Basil Kinnear, Brian Norman, Jessica Sidmore, Jasper Kinnear, Gary Gilligan and Jakala Gilligan; and her son-in-law, Ed Seigmund.

Additionally, Myrtle is survived by 36 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Myrtle is now reunited with her daughter, Ann Marie Sidmore Seigmund; her grandson, Kai Manuel Sidmore Castor; and her granddaughter, Jana Lynn Kinamon. She is predeceased by her siblings, Emma I. Boysun, George F. Olson, Lillian E. Long, Henry Norman Olson, Myra “Eddie” Schumacher, Alma “Freddie” Long and Helen J. Jamison.

Our mother, our grandmother, was a strong, determined and fiercely independent woman who will be greatly missed by her family.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.