In loving memory of...

Grant “OH” Olson


Grant “OH” Olson, 53, Modesto, died March 5, 2004, after a brave 14-month battle with cancer. A Modesto High School math teacher, he established a reputation as a favorite teacher in the classroom who was also compassionate towards the less fortunate, all the while demonstrating an intense passion for sports.


Born in Turlock April 3, 1950, he attended Hart Ransom School, graduated from Modesto High in 1968, attended MJC and graduated from Chico State. He began his 28-year teaching career in 1975 as a math and social science teacher at la Loma Junior High before transferring to Modesto High in 1986 as a math teacher where he taught until 2003. He initiated the concept of the Stock Market game with the Modesto Bee-- a now regular feature of math classes throughout the city school district.


He was a long-time member of the SOS Club where he ruled the softball diamond and the C league basketball court for years. While at MJC, Grant was a goalie for the championship water polo team. He earned the nickname “Slo-OH’ after a last place performance in the Riverbank Wine and Cheese Festival 5k run.


An unabashed sports fan who loved to gamble, he was a fiercely loyal fan of the Giants and the 49ers. He named his children after baseball players and proudly scored a picture of his son Hank Aaron Olson with the real Hank Aaron.


His compassionate nature demonstrated itself in many ways. He was an active Big Brother for many years to Greg Snyder. He began an annual Christmas drive for needy families, supplying many families with clothes and cash delivered on Christmas Day. He was a constant financial supporter of the MHS Fishing Club, attending all its functions and paying for kids who couldn’t afford to participate.


He was preceded in death by his father, Walter Gilbert Olson. He is survived by his mother, Bonnie Olson, Modesto; wife, Pat, Modesto; brother Ken, Modesto; sisters Sue Olson, Modesto and June Bailey, Turlock; sons, Hank Aaron Olson, Chicago; George Brett Olson, Modesto; daughter, Dawn Mattingly Olson, Modesto; and stepdaughter, Gina Elizabeth Moyer of Modesto.


A viewing will be held Friday, March 12, at the Lakewood Funeral Home, Hughson, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. On Saturday, March 13, there will be a private family burial, followed by a 10:30 a.m. memorial service at First Baptist Church, Modesto. Following the service, friends are invited to join the family at Minnie’s Restaurant, 107 McHenry Avenue, for a potluck reception to celebrate Grant’s life.


Remembrances may be made to a scholarship fund for MHS students: Grant Olson Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Modesto Commerce Bank, 1400 Standiford Ave., Modesto, CA 95350.