Knut Olsen

Knut F. Olsen, Palmyra, Va. died peacefully in the arms of his daughter Ann-Louise and son-in-law Joe Fisher Sunday morning, 6/28/2020 after struggling with anemia and a weakened heart valve after open-heart surgery many years ago.

Born in Horton, Norway on 7 April, 1930 to a large family, Knut grew up under Nazi occupation until he was 15, when he joined the Norwegian Merchant Marines and literally travelled the world, from the Northern Arctic to Cape Town S. Africa, to the Pacific Islands and oceans everywhere in between. Aboard ship, he developed careers as both a machinist and a cook.

While home he met his future wife, Evelyn, an American of Norwegian descent who was visiting her family. He later immigrated to the U.S. and married Evelyn at the Norwegian Sailors Church in Brooklyn, New York. They settled in Brooklyn and Knut joined the U.S. Army. So, remarkably, Knut served both the Norwegian fleet services and the American ground forces.

Later, they moved to New Jersey where Knut resumed his career as a machinist. They lived there until they retired and moved to Lake Monticello in Palmyra, Va. in 1987. Getting restless, in 1991 Knut began another career, joining the Lake Monticello maintenance team where he was often seen supporting the main club house and swimming pool.   Knut was instantly recognizable around the Palmyra area from his variety of cowboy hats and his Norwegian accent. He received a 15 year certificate of appreciation from the Lake in 2006 and retired shortly thereafter.

After his wife’s passing in 2016 and a serious bout with pneumonia shortly thereafter, he moved in with his daughter Ann-Louise in early 2017, where he passed away this past Sunday. He is survived by a younger sister in Norway, his son Kenneth, his daughters Ann-Louise and Lise, 7 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. A private family service is being held.

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