Cover photo for Vernal Olson's Obituary
Vernal Olson Profile Photo
1949 Vernal 2020

Vernal Olson

July 25, 1949 — September 1, 2020


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

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 and confirmed on June 7, 1964, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Herman.

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

In addition to his parents, Vernal was preceded in death by his 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.

Memorial Service: 3 PM Saturday, September 12, 2020, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Hoffman, with visitation one hour prior to services at the church.  For those unable to attend the service, a live stream of Vernal’s service may be viewed on his memorial page at

Clergy: Reverend Mark Mathews

Interment: Bethel Cemetery, Hoffman, MN

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vernal Olson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, September 12, 2020

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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