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.