Vernal Duaine Olson, age 71 of Hoffman, Minnesota, passed away Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at Alomere Health in Alexandria, MN.

Visitation for Vernal Olson will be Saturday, September 12, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church in Hoffman, MN.

Memorial services for Vernal Olson will be at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Hoffman, MN, with Reverend Mark Mathews officiating.

Burial will be in Bethel Cemetery, Hoffman, MN.

For those unable to attend the service, a live stream of Vernal’s service may be viewed on his memorial page at

Vernal Duaine Olson was born July 25, 1949, at the Douglas County Hospital, the youngest of eight children to Harold and Myrtle (Gulbrandson) Olson of Land Township.  He was baptized November 12, 1949, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Hoffman, MN, and confirmed on June 7, 1964, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Herman, MN.

Vernal often referred to himself as the “last tree in the forest.”

On November 3, 1950, the Olson family moved “out west” to Macsville Township when he was 1 ½ years old.  His family were dairy and are grain farmers so there was always plenty work to do.  As he grew up, Sundays, birthdays, and holidays were family oriented with many gathering at the farm – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews…if the walls could talk.

After graduation from Herman High School in 1968, Vernal attended Alexandria Technical School, graduating in 1970 with a degree in Production Agriculture.

In June of 1969, Vernal and Janet Sax begin their lifelong journey. After a couple years of dating and getting to know each other, Vernal asked Janet to be his forever and they were married on October 3, 1970.  Vernal’s desire to be a farmer was always one of his goals.  He was not afraid of work and did a large variety of jobs living in rural Herman and Hoffman.

When the cheese plant in Hoffman began operation, Vernal worked for three years in the cheese making process.  On December 15, 1982, Vernal began his employment with the State of Minnesota, Dairy Division as a dairy inspector.  With this new employment, the family of four packed up and relocated to Detroit Lakes, MN.  After ten years of life in Detroit Lakes, the country in his heart took them to rural Perham on the Otter Tail River.  Together Vernal and Janet enjoyed ten acres of paradise.  Vernal’s love of farming continued as he built a fence and started to raise a few head of cattle.

As the years went by, Vernal and Janet were able to move back to Hoffman in September of 2006.  Vernal retired April 12, 2011, after 28 ½ years working with “his farmers.”

Vernal and Janet were blessed to raise two sons, Randy born in November of 1972, and Brian in May of 1977.  Vernal enjoyed attending the activities of Randy and Brian during their school days, cherished family snowmobiling trips and sharing stories with family and friends over a cup of coffee.  His four grandchildren were always on his mind and he looked forward to each and every time they gathered at Grandpa and Grandma’s.

Survivors include his wife: Janet of Hoffman, MN;  sons: Randy Olson of Glyndon, MN, Brian (Cindy) Olson of Carver, MN; four grandchildren: Ross, Emma, Rayna, and Wil;  sisters and brothers: Carmen Peterson of Hoffman, MN, Elaine Kruse of Lake City, MN, Harry (Marilyn) of Herman, MN, Harlan (Judy) of Winter Garden, FL, and Jeanne (Gail) Sperr of Herman, MN; mother-in-law: Rosella Sax of Hoffman, MN; sister-in-law: Carol (David) Slettedahl of Wood Lake, MN; brother-in-law: Irv (Nola) Sax of Dalton, MN; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Vernal was preceded in death by his parents; sister and brother-in-law: Muriel and Lloyd Christopherson; brother and sister-in-law: Allen and Joyce; brother-in-law :Dennis Peterson; nieces: Corlys Christopherson and Carol Sylskar; and father-in-law: Clyde Sax.

Arrangements are with Erickson-Smith Funeral Home in Hoffman, MN.



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