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PLAINS — Kay Eileen Olson passed away on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018, in Plains. Born May 3, 1940, on the family farm near Hope, North Dakota, Kay was the youngest of five children of Lloyd and Sophia (Schmidt) Bayman. She spent her childhood on the family farm in rural North Dakota and completed high school at Colgate, North Dakota, in a graduating class of three (one of her two classmates was named Kaye — what were the chances?).

Kay married Gary Olson and on Dec. 27, 1959, gave birth to her son, Timothy. Her daughter, Mary Kay, was born on Aug. 20, 1963, and tragically passed away at age two. Kay and Gary would later divorce and Gary would pass away in an auto accident in 1966. Kay and Tim moved to Minneapolis, where she worked for many years as an advertising executive. After the advertising business went in a new direction, Kay took another great leap and went to school to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and the director of an assisted living facility in Maple Plain, Minnesota. When her granddaughter visited in the summers, the two of them would make a no-holds-barred expedition to the Mall of America. Getting their feet so sore they could hardly walk afterward was their marker of shopping success! Kay had a definite green thumb and always surrounded herself with lovingly tended plants, both inside the house and out. When she retired from nursing in 2007, she moved to Plains to be close to Tim’s family. Finally, after years of working hard, she got to devote her time to tending her luscious yard and garden and indulge in a long-time passion — garage sales! She made friends with the ladies who, like her, showed up even earlier than a sale’s advertised opening time to be sure to snag the best deals. Her house bursted at the seams with her found treasures, which she used to decorate her rooms in a cute country style.

In December 2009, Kay suffered a massive stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side. She faced the challenges of her last decade of life with astonishing courage. Rendered completely bedridden, she lived with Tim’s family for eight years until, in February 2018, she moved into Clark Fork Valley Hospital’s long-term care facility.

Kay is survived by her son Tim (and daughter-in-law Karen), granddaughter Erica, sister Lavonne, brother Harlan (and sister-in-law Marge), and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Lloyd and Sophia, daughter Mary Kay, brother Ralph, sister Arloine, ex-husband Gary, and beloved pets Yeti, Libby, and Bongo.

As per her wishes, no memorial services are planned. Kay would love it if you could make a donation in her memory to the ASPCA, Humane Society or your local animal shelter.

the life of: Kay Eileen Olson
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