Edith Olsen (nee Peartree)
July 15, 1918 – Oct. 26, 2010
Edith Olsen (nee Peartree) was born to
eternal life Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, at the age of 92.
Edith is survived by her sons, Corey (Joann) Olsen of Delafield and Scott
(Kathy) Olsen of California. She is further survived by her grandchildren,
Chris (Charlene) Olsen, Carl Olsen, Stephan Olsen, Robert (Elaine) Burns,
Tabetha Burns, Dan (Susan) Olsen and Rob (Jennifer) Olsen; as well as 10
great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a son, Jon Olsen; daughter, Cheryll Olsen;
husband, Vern Ellsworth Olsen; parents, Albert and Lillie Peartree; and a
brother, Edward Peartree.
Born July 15, 1918, Edith lived her entire life in Oconomowoc. She
graduated from Oconomowoc High School. In 1941, she earned a bachelor of
music degree in piano and organ from Carroll College (now Carroll
University, Waukesha). She married Vern Olsen in August 1941 at the First
Methodist Church in Oconomowoc, where she served as church organist for 50
years. During that time, Edith worked with 17 ministers, playing at
countless services, including more than 300 marriages and hundreds of
funerals before her retirement in 1985. She also taught music in the
Oconomowoc Area School District, focusing on working with children who
were beginners on string instruments. She and her husband were members of
local dance bands in the 1940s and 1950s. Edith was the accompanist for
LaBelle Choraliers for 15 years. After she retired, she continued to play
piano at Shorehaven Tower, where many of her friends resided. As recently
as six months ago, Edith played the piano for three to four hours a day.
Determined to share her lifelong love of music, Edith recently formed the
Edith Olsen Music Foundation. Working with the White House of Music in
Waukesha, the foundation will provide instruments and free music lessons
for underprivileged youth.
Friends and family will remember Edith for her quick wit, intelligence,
strength, perfectionism and independent spirit. In addition to her family
and music, Edith enjoyed traveling, scrapbooking, crocheting and
collecting inspirational quotations. She was a lifetime member of the
Oconomowoc Eastern Star and a Carroll College Golden Pioneer.
Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service
Saturday, Oct. 30, at Schmidt and Bartelt Funeral Home, 121 S. Cross St.,
Oconomowoc. After burial at Summit Cemetery, a meal will be served at the
Wesley House at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 209 W. Wisconsin
The Edith Olsen Music Foundation is not set up to accept donations, but
memorials to the American Cancer Society would be appreciated.
Schmidt & Bartelt Notbohm-Kreutzmann Funeral and Cremation Services is
serving the family. For more information, call 567-4459 or visit online at