Athletics

Merlin Olsen Honored, Remembered at Memorial Service

A memorial service for Merlin Olsen was held Tuesday, March 16, in Pasadena, Calif., at All Saints Church. The service was attended by family and friends who paid tribute to Olsen, a Utah State University and NFL great.
 
The 500-plus who attended the service made up a cross section of the people in every aspect of Olsen’s life, said Ross Peterson, Utah State University vice president for advancement and long-time friend.
 
“It was really a great tribute to a person who had a dramatic impact on a lot of lives, including people he played football with, his family and people he’s worked with since then in broadcasting,” Peterson said. “It was an amazing collection of people and they were all there to express appreciation to his wife, Susan, and their family.”
 
Those in attendance included NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and numerous former teammates, both USU Aggies and Los Angeles Rams. Speakers included Olsen’s brother, Phil, who was also a former L.A. Ram, and USU alum and Hall of Fame guard Tom Mack.
 
“The amazing thing about Merlin was his consistency in his daily dealings with people,” Peterson said. “He was always honest, forthright and always learning.”
 
He said it was not unusual for him to read a handful of books prior to any trip he took just to learn as much as he could about where he would be traveling.
 
“He was always engaged in everything he was doing.”
 
Peterson said the service was a great tribute and recognition of a person who came from a small town, worked hard and went on in the world to make a real difference.
 
Olsen’s USU connection has been noted worldwide in some 3,500 news articles and broadcasts following his death in Duarte, Calif., on March 11 at age 69 after battling mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.
 
Brian Charles, staff writer for the Pasadena News reported on Olsen’s memorial service. His piece, including a photo gallery of the memorial, was published March 16. Charles’s report is available online.
 
Information on giving to the Merlin Olsen Field project is available online. Click here for more details.
 
 
Merlin Olsen, USU football

Olsen was a three-year letterman on the offensive and defensive lines for Utah State's football team 1959-61, earning All-American honors during both his junior and senior seasons.

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Sent by Cathy Dawson on Monday, March 22 - 5:56PM
It was such a wonderful experience being friends with the Olsen family. Little sister Ramona and I went to school together as well as her mother being our Girl Scout leader. It is such a pleasure knowing such a loving family who is and always will be, proud of big brother Merlin. God Bless You, Cathy

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