Dean Olmstead was born on July 27, 1930 in Forman, ND to Orville and Amelia (Christensen) Olmstead. He passed away peacefully at his home in Boise, ID on October 28, 2022 at 92 years of age.
Dean attended public schools in Forman, ND, Portland, OR and Fargo, ND and attended Interstate Business College in Fargo, ND for 2 years. He was employed in the office of Fargo Foundry Company until leaving for military service. He served in the US Navy for 2 years, managing the ship’s store aboard the USS Nemasket, an auxiliary oil tanker that delivered fuel to the Aleutian islands and to other bases in the Pacific. Pearl Harbor became the ship’s home base and he was able to have his wife Marian move to Honolulu while he was stationed there. They lived off-base, she worked at Pearl Harbor and they enjoyed living there for 2 years with the ocean beaches and tropical weather. Their first child was born there. After military discharge in 1954 they returned to Fargo, ND and his previous position of employment until he decided to take his photography hobby to a higher level and, joined Scherling Studio as a trainee under the G .I. Bill. After several years there he opened his own photography studio in Fargo. He continued working independently as a photographer for many years until personally building a retirement home (with advice and assistance of brother-in-law Cal and his father Norman, who were experienced builders) in the rural Lake Park, MN area. He started a metal engraving business in his garage, continuing with wedding photography, family groups and other photography that did not require operating a studio. Dean was blessed with three children: Richard, Boise, ID; Linda (Olmstead) Speleers, Olympia, WA; and Robert (Margaret), Boise, ID. Dean is survived by his wife of 71 years (Marian); sons (Richard); and (Robert); daughter-in-law (Margaret) 7 grandchildren (Sarah Desir, Matthew Burdick, Katie Gave, Andrew Olmstead, Daniel Olmstead and Shauna Knutson); 4 great grandchildren (Nyah, Saige and Lilly Gave) and Salem Ricely (Shauna’s daughter) Dean was preceded in death by his parents, daughter (Linda Speleers), three brothers: Dale, Lawrence (Bud) and Clinton (Pat) Olmstead, as well as his father-in-law, motherin-law, several brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
Dean had many interests; photography, amateur(ham) radio, gardening, woodworking among them, though as he aged his profound hearing loss took a huge toll on his brain and he no longer played checkers with his sons. He had been a Sunday school teacher and confirmation (9th grade) leader during earlier years and he still ‘got a lift’ out of watching preteens and younger children at church lunches and in the neighborhood. He liked watching the school buses load and unload from our window or patio and he loved his interactions with grandchildren and great grandchildren no matter what their age. Dean was an entrepreneur at heart who was always seeing business opportunities that interested him but after he developed heart problems he learned to relax in the rural lifestyle and take time to enjoy life more. After moving to Boise in 1999, Dean had a shop in the back yard where he did woodworking. Marian had sustained injuries from an accident requiring that she needed a lift on one shoe and Dean had researched the materials needed to make a lift so he could build the correction himself. He was very innovative and ready to make or fix just about anything – sometimes successfully, other times not so much. Camping was a big part of their family’s lives and Dean enjoyed their fifth-wheel, always looking back fondly on those memories. Dean’s faith in Christ was important to him and they seldom missed a Sunday morning in church. His loss of hearing made it very difficult in later years so it was hard for him to hear and communicate and he oftentimes felt very isolated. But he always enjoyed nature and during his last weeks he still enjoyed sitting on the patio swing with Marian, watching the clouds, birds and planes above. It seemed easier for him to converse there so they sat there whenever they could, holding hands and talking. A cup of tea was never far away.
Funeral service will be held Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 10:00 A.M., with visitation for one hour before the service, at Wright Funeral Home in Moorhead. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery in Moorhead.