Gleness Marie Olson, age 77 of Chetek passed away on Wednesday, 23 August 2023 after a valiant battle with brain cancer.
She was born 18 August 1946 in Rice Lake, WI to Willard and Amy (Brown) Oehlke. She lived in Exeland throughout her childhood and attended school there until middle school. Following the loss of the school in a fire she attended middle school and graduated high school in Bruce, WI in 1964. Gleness loved being active in her school and community. She enjoyed cheering on the Red Raiders as a varsity cheerleader and participating in the local 4-H club for 9 years.
Following high school she received a scholarship to Northland College in Ashland, WI and later transferred to UW River Falls to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. Putting her college degree to work, she spent 5 years at Owen-Withee High School on the faculty teaching physical education, coaching girls sports and inspiring local youth to lead active lives.
In 1968, Gleness married Robert Pasanen and they had 3 children together. They later divorced in 2003. Gleness married Jim Olson of Chetek, WI on 12 December 2012 (12-12-12) and they lived their entire married life in the beautiful small town of Chetek.
After moving back to the Rice Lake area, she started work at JC Penney. During her 22 year career with the Rice Lake store she worked in almost every department and culminated her career as the office manager. Later she worked part-time at Osterbauer Drug in Rice Lake for 14 years until the store closure in 2020.
Gleness loved serving in her local churches throughout her life and participated in multiple music groups including choir and handbell choir as well as church service groups. Her love of music was most evident through her singing with the Red Cedar Choir and the Harmonettes for many years.
Gleness enjoyed spending time with family and friends and enjoying the gift of life. She especially enjoyed traveling, dining, campfires, boating, bowling, shopping and decorating for the seasons.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother Mark (Mary) Oehlke in 2018.
Gleness is survived by her loving husband Jim, three children York (Tiffany) Pasanen of Melbourne, FL, Shauna Pasanen of Winter Haven, FL and Erro Pasanen of Exeland, WI and stepchildren Justin (Jenny) Olson of Pine Island, FL and Jolene (Mike) Uetz of Barron, WI and her sister Linda Debner of Sylvania, OH.
Gleness was lovingly called grandma by Quinn Pasanen, Zane Pasanen, Carter Olson, Eliza Olson, Taylor Olson, Brandon Nelson, Sam Nelson, Becca Nelson, Trinity Uetz and Harmony Uetz.
A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 AM, 2 September 2023 at the Faith Baptist Church in Chetek, WI, with a visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you celebrate Gleness’s life by taking your family out to dinner and enjoying the time with your loved ones. Arrangements are under the care of Olson Funeral Home in Bloomer, Wi Online condolences may be expressed at olsonfuneralhomebloomer.com