Cover photo for Dr. Don Olmanson's Obituary
Dr. Don Olmanson Profile Photo
1931 Dr. don 2016

Dr. Don Olmanson

April 8, 1931 — October 17, 2016

Myron Donald Olmanson, M. D., passed away surrounded by his family on October 17, 2016 at his home near St. Peter, Minnesota. He was known as “Donie” by his friends and Dr. Don by his many patients. He was born on April 8, 1931 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to Dr. E. G. Olmanson and Gertrude Evanson Olmanson. The family lived in Chicago while his father finished his medical training and then moved to St. Peter, Minnesota in 1936, where his father began a medical practice.

Don graduated from St. Peter High School in 1949 where he played football, belonged to the camera club, and excelled in forensics. While attending the University of Minnesota, he worked summers at the Green Giant Company in Le Sueur, where he met his future wife Barbara Fritsche of New Ulm (they celebrated their 63rd anniversary in September). Don graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1956. After interning at General Hospital in Minneapolis he moved back to St. Peter in 1957 to join his father at the St. Peter Clinic. In 1961, Don, Barb, and their growing family traveled to Burma where Don became the first American doctor to serve with Dr. Gordon S. Seagrave (the “Burma Surgeon”) at his Namkham Hospital. In 1963, they returned to St. Peter where Don worked at  the St. Peter Clinic until he “retired” in 1988. After being certified in the new specialty of geriatrics, he started Olmanson Diagnostic Clinic, sharing a building with his daughter Schelli McCabe, whose Foot and Ankle Clinic is still located there. Don retired again in 1995, but continued serving as medical director for the Good Samaritan Nursing Home and the Health Care Center until he gave up his medical license when he turned 80 years old.

Don was a member of the St. Peter School Board for 12 years, and served as president. He belonged to the Kiwanis Club, the St. Peter Jaycees, the Nicollet-Le Sueur County Medical Association, the Arts and Heritage Council, the St. Peter Chamber of Commerce, and the Nicollet County Historical Society where he served as president for three years and worked tirelessly to help establish the Treaty Site History Center. He received several honors, and most recently was inducted into the St. Peter High School Hall of Fame. He was an avid outdoorsman, who loved hunting, fishing, and going on canoe trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and working on his Model A Fords. In the mid-1970s, he retrofitted his home with an efficient wood heater and helped design solar collectors that were installed on the roof of his garage. He traveled widely, and in 2006 he returned to Burma with his wife and daughter Trudi (who was born there). They received a warm welcome. Don was preceded in death by his younger sister Kristi Olmanson. He is survived by his wife Barbara, their children Eric (Andrea), Thor (Jill), Schelli (Ambrose) McCabe, Trudi, Leif (Kris), and Lori (Harold) Swick, eighteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren; his brother Vern Olmanson, sister Joanne Pedersen, and dear old friend since the first day of kindergarten, Doug Nygard. He lived a long and full life, but is deeply missed by all who knew him.

Funeral services will be at First Lutheran Church, 1114 Traverse Road (Corner of Sunrise Drive & Traverse Road), St. Peter, Minnesota on Saturday, October 22, 2016. Visitation will be 9:00 am to 11:00 am; the funeral service will begin at 11:30. The family wishes to express their gratitude to Mayo Clinic Hospice.

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