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 Ave., Oconomowoc.
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 www.schmidtandbartelt.com.