Nancy Ann (Mills) Olson, age 86, died June 27, 2019, at Suncrest Nursing Home with her loving family beside her.
Nancy was a loving, dedicated mom, grandma and great-grandma who lived for her family and friends. She found her loving Lord and Savior at an early age and went on to teach years of bible study and serve as a delegate for the United Methodist Church. When she saw a need, she acted, volunteering at nonprofits and “adopting” lots of kids and families throughout the years.
Nancy and her late husband, Frank (Sonny), built a loving home across the street from the Columbiaville Elementary School. In the late 1980s, Nancy opened her heart and home to serve at-risk children and was a story reader for the local library. Nancy loved all children.
Nancy was born June 20, 1933 and was adopted by Mildred and James Mills. At 14, Nancy moved from her childhood home in downtown Flint to her family’s cottage in the Lost Lake Woods Club near Alpena, MI. On her first bus ride to Alpena High School, she met the love of her life. Nancy and Sonny had a passionate love affair, first dating for five years and then enjoying a marriage filled with love, laughter and lots of kissing for 60 years.
At her core, Nancy was a cycle-breaker. While her childhood home was quiet, staid and perfectly kept, the home she made for her children was loud, messy and filled with loving affection with God at its center. Children and grandchildren were encouraged to drag the blankets onto the porch to make forts, jump on the beds and play raucous games of hide and seek. Nancy often joined in on the fun. She was athletic and taught her kids to enjoy walks, bike riding and aerobics. She was also fiercely competitive and loved to beat people (especially her kids and grandkids) at wild games of Scrabble, jacks, euchre and ping pong. Having fun, making big family meals, playing games, camping, Survivor nights and cookie-baking with her kids and grandkids were her priorities.
Nancy strongly believed in supporting her community. She was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church where she volunteered for numerous roles for more than 55 years. Nancy worked a variety of part-time jobs while her kids were growing up, primarily with Avon, Weight Watchers and in sales.
After Sonny passed away in 2013, Nancy surprised everyone with her resiliency and continued love of life. She lived with Parkinson’s for more than a decade and her family never once heard her complain. This past year, she lost much of her ability to speak but always managed to tell family and friends she loved them.
Nancy believed in turning the other cheek and forgiveness. She exemplified her faith in Christ throughout her life. She wasn’t perfect and didn’t pretend to be, but she always put her kids and grandkids first. We will miss her mischievousness, laughter, strength, wisdom and love.
Nancy is survived by her five children: Debbie (Mike) Sefton, Laura (Tom) Rein, Jimmy (Shyrll) Olson, David (Cindy) Olson and Melissa (Steve) Cunningham; grandchildren Hayley (Camron) Nellis, Andrew (Jacky) Olson, Sam (Natalie) Sefton, Mike (Ashley) Sefton, Tony Olson, Chris (Janessa) Olson, Tom Rein, Jacob (Danielle) Olson, Natalie (Derek) Morey, Monica Conrad, Elena Rein and Leah Cunningham; great-grandchildren Henna, Joey, Aiden, Katie, Ezra, Ben, Asher, Bella, Maverick, Josiah, Alexander, Rory, Sawyer, Henry and Grant, her sibling-in-laws John and Carol Olson and Kathryn Cubalo, plus many cherished nieces and nephews. In addition to Sonny, she was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Helen, Marie, and Ernie, in-laws Lloyd and Helen, and great-grandchild Levi. We are sure she is now having a joyful reunion.
A celebration of Nancy’s life will begin with a visitation Sunday, June 30 from 3-8 p.m. at Jansen Family Funeral Home, 4705 Pine St, Columbiaville, MI 48421. A second visitation will be held Monday, July 1 from 10-11 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. and a luncheon at Columbiaville United Methodist Church, 4696 Pine St., Columbiaville.
Nancy’s children are planning to help renovate the outdoor space connected to her unit at Suncrest Nursing Home where she received exemplary, loving care during the last years of her life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Suncrest, c/o Nancy Olson, 1455 Suncrest Dr., Lapeer, MI 48446.