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Olga M Mortensen-Ohm

October 29, 1922 ~ July 15, 2018 (age 95)

Olga Marie Mortensen-Ohm completed the last leg of her earthly journey at age 95, passing peacefully in Newport on July 15, 2018. The daughter of immigrants from Denmark, Christopher and Frederikke Nielsen, she was the fist of four siblings born on a farm near Askov, Minnesota in 1922. After graduating from the local high school, she met William Paulsen, a young man who had arrived in the U.S. from Denmark years before, at the time working in an Askov dairy. They married in 1941 and moved to Santa Barbara, California to join other Danes who had found work there. Their daughter Sharon was born a year later. Several months after that, William entered the Army. The young soldier died in a battle on Okinawa in May, 1945. As a war widow, Olga and her child returned to Minnesota to live with her parents. Realizing she would now be the sole support of her daughter, Olga enrolled in a business college in Minneapolis to gain some job skills.

Fate interrupted her educational plan, however, as she met another young man of Danish ancestry, one who had recently completed his service in the Marine Corps. Olga and Bernhardt Mortensen were married the following year, and then set out on the long trek to the Hood River Valley in Oregon, where his brother had found employment for him. In the next six years the young couple became parents to three children: Annalee, Jane and Bernie. When the youngest entered high school, Olga began working in the Hood River city utilities department as a billing clerk. She was employed there until after her husband’s death in 1981. During the many years of widowhood that followed, Olga kept busy with her garden club and church activities, delivering Meals on Wheels and finding joy in the arrival of her grandchildren. She enjoyed travel, often to Mexico and Canada, but also to Belize, Hawaii, Alaska and several of our national parks. One unforgettable destination was Denmark in 1992, when she joyously met several of her cousins, aunts and uncles previously known only through letters. Still fluent in Danish, she easily conversed with the few relatives who weren’t comfortable with English.

Although Olga continued to find life in Hood River busy and pleasant, she surprised the family in 1996 by announcing she would soon be leaving her home there for a late life adventure. Olga was 76 years old when she married Robert Ohm, a widower from Washington; his fie adult children and stepchildren welcomed her into the family, just as her own offspring were pleased to know their mother would share her old age with this new man in her life. The newlyweds lived for several years in Brookings, Oregon, before moving to Newport in 2002, where they became members of First Presbyterian Church. The adventuresome couple enjoyed several extensive road trips and cruises. At home, Olga was devoted to her water aerobics routine and made many friends at the Newport pool. A highlight during this time was the celebration of her 90th birthday with over 50 relatives in attendance to hear Bob sing “I Love You Truly” to her. They moved to Oceanview Assisted Living in 2014, where Bob passed away nine months later on their 17th wedding anniversary.

Olga was preceded in death by her husbands, her parents, and her siblings, but she left behind four children: Sharon Beardsley, Newport; Annalee Davis (Dick), Victoria, British Columbia; Jane Rozek (Sean Pegg), Kelowna, British Columbia; and Bernie Mortensen (Mary Newcomer), Portland. In addition, ten grandchildren and nine great grandchildren claimed her heart. This spring she became a great great grandmother for the fist time. Her passing left a hole in the hearts of numerous nieces and nephews, for whom she was the last living aunt. 

The family wishes to express gratitude to the dedicated caregivers at Samaritan Pacific Hospice and Newport Rehabilitation (Avamere) where Olga received compassionate and professional care in the final months of her long life. It was a great comfort to know she was in such good hands. A celebration of Olga’s life will be held later this summer in Hood River, where she lived for 50 years. She requested that her ashes be scattered along the scenic wooded trail around Lost Lake, where the family had enjoyed many outdoor activities over the years. For those wishing to make a charitable donation in Olga’s name, please consider her local favorites, First Presbyterian Church, Food Share, and Habitat for Humanity.

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