Obituary: Emmett King Olson, Jr
Emmett King Olson, Jr died peacefully on August 17, 2017, surrounded by his family in Steamboat Springs. He was born on November 30, 1924, in Price, Utah, to Edith Jones Olson and Emmett King Olson. ‘K’ was always known for his sense of humor, musical talent and enthusiasm for life. He was an avid fly fisherman and golfer. He was a quintessential product of the Greatest Generation, patriotic, hardworking, resilient and determined. He exhibited a fierce patriotism and took great pride in his Utah pioneer heritage. Even in the face of adversity, he was determined, inspiring his friends and family with his fortitude and resilience.
The only son of a prominent Carbon County family, ‘K’ attended Price public schools and was active in community music and theatre productions. Immediately upon graduation from high school he volunteered for the draft and entered the Navy Seabees, where he proudly served in the Asiatic Pacific Theater of War. When he returned home he entered The University of Utah under the Veterans’ G.I. Bill, studying to be a mining engineer like his father. He received the Kennecott Scholarship, awarded to an exceptional senior in mining engineering and was recruited into the engineering training program at Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon mine. He worked as Safety Director and in 1965 was promoted to Operations Superintendent, with oversight over all mining operations. In 1968 he received an Executive MBA from Harvard University and in 1969 joined Kaiser Steel, where he served as Mine Superintendent and eventually Resident Manager at their iron ore mine in Eagle Mountain, California.
He culminated his career when he joined W.R. Grace & Co’s Natural Resources Group first as Vice President, Mine Development and then as President and General Manager of ColoWyo Coal Co, the largest coal producer in Colorado. He was extremely proud of the work the company did to reclaim and restore the land to its natural state. During his tenure, he and the company received several awards for reclamation of mined land and the protection of wildlife on and near the property.
But ‘K’s greatest joy came from his family. He met his beloved wife and life partner of 68 years, Beverly Faye Lambourne, on a blind date with friends while at the University of Utah. The two of them went on to build a close-knit family with ‘K’ serving as the beloved patriarch to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and lots of cousins. Because of him, there were memorable road trips, family talent shows, tall tales, belly laughs and belly flops, marching bands, fly fishing, a sturgeon excursion, season tickets on the 50-yard line cheering for the Utes, the Cowboys or the Broncos. The list goes on as do the memories.
Survived by his beloved wife, Beverly (Lambourne), children, Kathy Czerny (Karl) Marshfield, MA, William Kregg (Tracy Garner) Houston, TX, Jeffrey King (Maggie) Irving, TX, Carrie Edith Longmont, CO, Amy Beck (Ingo) Snohomish, WA, 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, 7 nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by son Emmett King Olson III, sisters Pauline Richardson and Dorothy Whitney.