Amel David Olson, 94, passed away on March 12, 2020. He leaves behind six nieces and four nephews. Dave, as he was known by both family and friends, was born in Veblen, South Dakota and graduated from Custer High School in 1944. He then joined the Navy and was assigned as a gunner’s mate on the aircraft carrier U.S. Monterey, attached to Admiral Halsey’s third fleet in the Pacific until the end of the war.
After the war, his ship was assigned to Tokyo to attend the signing of the peace treaty. From there, the ship was assigned, through the Panama Canal, to New York City. There, at the Navy Day parade, Dave marched down Sixth Avenue and, as he did, he had the opportunity to see the street name changed to the Avenue of the Americas. His remaining time of duty was spent in Adak, Alaska.
When Dave returned from duty in 1946, he joined his parents who had moved west to a farm in Galt. He has lived in Galt ever since. In 1952, he married Eugenia Puccinelli, and they lived lovingly together for 63 years. In 1956, he enrolled at Sacramento State College and graduated with a B.A. in social studies.
In September 1960, he joined the faculty in the social studies department and the coaching staff of Galt Joint Union High School. He remained at Galt High School for 23 years where his duties included coaching junior varsity basketball and baseball for 10 years, serving as social studies department chair and teacher, and sponsoring the California Scholarship Federation organization on campus.
In 1984, Dave joined the faculty of Estrellita High School where he taught social studies and physical education until his retirement in 1989. Since his retirement, he has been an active member of the Galt Area Historical Society, planting most of the trees and roses at the Rae House Museum, until his age prohibited strenuous physical activity.
Dave enjoyed salmon fishing with friends and family members, and he spent most of his summers with his beloved Genie on the Oregon coast. He was a member of St. Christopher’s Catholic Church.
Funeral arrangements include a rosary at 10:30 a.m. on Friday March 20 at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Galt, immediately followed by the funeral Mass at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, he asked that donations be given to St. Christopher’s Church or to the Galt Area Historical Society.
The family understands, with the latest developments due to the Coronavirus, that anyone over the age of 65, or who has recently been ill, should not feel obligated to attend this Friday’s services. They appreciate all the condolences and prayers that everyone has given this past week. It is their desire to keep family and friends safe and healthy during this time of mourning.