Charlie A. Olson

Charlie A. Olson, 90, of Parsons, beloved longtime owner and operator of Olson’s Ace Hardware, passed away at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 2020, at the Elmhaven Nursing Home.

He was born on Jan. 23, 1930, at Angola to Carl and Pearl (Brooks) Olson. He grew up in the Mound Valley area and attended country schools and Labette County Community High School, graduating in 1948. 

He moved to Independence, where he lived for two years before moving to Parsons, where he worked at Cloonan Motors. Charlie served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He returned to Parsons following his honorable discharge. In 1955 he went to work at Alderman’s Hardware and Implement. The following year he became a partner in the business with Jim Alderman and in 1969 purchased Mr. Alderman’s interest in the business and it became Olson’s Ace Hardware.

Charlie was well-known, respected and beloved throughout the local community through serving customers at his store for many years. He was dedicated to his family, employees and customers. He was a gentle, kind and thoughtful man who enjoyed his work, keeping up his yard, going square dancing with his wife and Scouts. Charlie was very active in the Ace Hardware franchise, serving as past president of the National Hardware Association. He was a recipient of the Parsons Chamber of Commerce Zetmier Legacy Award and was a grand marshal of the Parsons Christmas parade. He was also a member of First Baptist Church in Parsons.

He and Rosie Powers were united in marriage on Dec. 14, 1949, at the Methodist Church in Altamont. She preceded him in death on Nov. 22, 2011.

Charlie is survived by his daughter, Nancy Olson of Parsons; four grandchildren, Ben Ryan and his wife, Beth, of Parsons, Aja Shroll and her husband, Dean, of Dallas, Michael Olson and his wife, Jessica, of Parsons and Kristen Talley of Parsons; seven grandchildren, Abby Ryan, Colton Ryan and Kaitlyn Ryan of Parsons, Jaycee Olson and Xzavier Olson of Parsons, and Keiran Shroll and Ean Shroll of Dallas; a great-grandson, Briar Olson; several nieces and nephews; and his present and former family at Olson’s Ace Hardware. In addition to his wife, Rosie, Charlie was preceded in death by his son, Robert “Bobby” Olson, on Jan. 6, 2011, and two sisters, Joan Mathis and Shirley McKinney.

There will be a private service on Thursday morning at Carson-Wall Funeral Home, with Joe Mathis officiating. Burial will follow in Memorial Lawn Cemetery. The funeral procession will go by Olson’s Ace Hardware prior to arriving at Memorial Lawn Cemetery. The public is encouraged to gather near the store at 10:45 a.m. Thursday to honor Charlie and support the family. Friends may call the funeral home after 9 a.m. Wednesday at their convenience to sign the register.

Memorials are suggested to Labette Community College for the Charlie and Rosie Olson Scholarship Fund and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, 112 N. 26th St., P.O. Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357.

Online condolences may be left at

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