Miles Olson was born in 1935 to David and Alta Olson at the family farm near Valley Springs, SD. He married Arla at Garretson, SD in 1957. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma two years ago and passed on to heaven on November 29, 2020, at home in Erie, CO.
Miles graduated from Valley Springs High School. After undergraduate and master’s degrees at South Dakota State University, Miles taught high school English and Music. He served as a Lieutenant and Captain in the US Army Artillery Unit at Ft. Sill, OK. Miles then completed his doctorate of education in 1968 at the University of Nebraska. He was appointed to the faculty in the School of Education at the University of Colorado in 1968, where he remained until his retirement in 1997.
As a professor, Miles was recognized as an outstanding teacher and received numerous awards of excellence from his students, peers, and the Colorado Department of Education. Additionally, Miles served as the Director of the Colorado Writing Project. This program brought master high school English teachers to the University for an advanced summer of study, after which they returned to their school districts to mentor their fellow teachers. Miles was also the senior author of a series of textbooks (The Writing Process) for grades 7-12, which he directed with the collaboration of well-known educators from around the US.
Miles’ Christian faith was the central part of his life. He was an active member of Faith Community Lutheran Church in Longmont, CO. He attended theological conferences and wrote many devotionals for his local congregation. He was grateful for all of God’s blessings throughout his entire life.
Miles had many diverse interests. He enjoyed reading, taking on projects, sharing his musical talents, and conversing with others, especially his daily coffee group.
Miles is survived by Arla, his wife of 63 years, three daughters Diane (Larry) Postler, Lori (Dale) Weimer, and Kris (Jeff) Haines, six grandchildren Sarah (John) Lock, Rachel Clark, Danny Weimer, Allison Weimer, Luna Haines, and Derek Haines, two great-grandchildren, Elise Lock and Tyler Lock, sister Linda Elliott, and many extended family members.
A private family service will be held at Faith Community Lutheran Church in Longmont, CO. Memorial gifts may be designated to the Faith Community Endowment Fund, 9775 Ute Hwy, Longmont, CO 80504 or to the Miles C. Olson Scholarship at the South Dakota State Foundation, 815 Medary Ave., Box 525, Brookings, SD 57007.