We lost someone who loved “doing”. Be it tennis, squash, gardening, sailing, swimming, biking, hiking—Bob Olsen always wanted to be doing something.

Bob was born to Edwin and Thelma Olsen on July 28, 1928 and died June 26, 2017. Bob attended Roosevelt High School and UW where he joined the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.

He entered the Navy and witnessed the H-bomb test at Bikini Atol. From there he attended Stanford Business School and finished at the UW where he completed his Master’s in Business, then began a long career in Labor Relations. He managed the Seattle Auto Show for several years and volunteered on the Mercer Island Park Board and with the Mercer Island Rotary.

In 1956, Bob married Julia Fite and they raised their children, Cathy, Garth and Garrett, on Mercer Island. As a father, he governed with a light and positive touch and was very involved with the children’s sports.

Bob was a splendid and efficient athlete and tennis was his passion. With his trusty old racquet, no back hand and sporting high top sneakers he conquered a long list of gifted players who probably still don’t understand how. He won a number of Mercer Island Beach Club and Bellevue City championships. However, as a proud Dane, a highlight was playing against a Danish professional tour player, Torvin Ulrich in the Washington State Open.

Bob led a full and busy life until Alzheimer’s took its toll. Many thanks to the staff at Patriot’s Glen who were incredibly compassionate caregivers.

Of his many accomplishments in life, his most important was this: Bob was a man who loved his family and treated them right. And for that, we adored him. Bob will truly be missed by those who knew him and all of us who wanted one more shot to take on the champ.

A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, October 5th, 3:00 – 5:00 PM, at the Mercer Island Beach Club, 8325 Avalon Dr., in Mercer Island.

To share a memory with his family, please visit: