Earl F. 'Spike' Olson

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Earl F. “Spike” Olson, 97, of Ottumwa, passed away at 8:07 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2020, at Centerville Specialty Care  in Centerville.

He was born Aug. 9, 1923, in McGregor, to Severn and Frances Flatt Gutheil Olson. Spike moved to Ottumwa his senior year of high school and graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1942. He entered the Army Air Corps, where he learned to fly and became a flight instructor.

He married Deloris Kathryn Gustaveson on Dec. 25, 1945, and she preceded him in death on Aug. 26, 2018.

Spike worked for Neiderhauser Airway and the Ottumwa Municipal Airport as a flight instructor. He joined his father-in-law at Gustaveson Insurance, where he was an insurance agent. He sold the company to Noel Insurance, where he worked until his retirement.

As a young man, he enjoyed fishing at Leech Lake in Minnesota and pheasant hunting in Iowa. He spent many Saturdays parading as a clown for the KAABA Clown Unit or spending time at his cabin on the Des Moines River.

Spike was a member of First Lutheran Church, an active member of B.P.O. Elks Lodge #347, a member of O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion, Ottumwa Masonic Lodge #16 A.F. & A.M., Clinton Chapter #9, Ottumwa Council #31, Malta Commandery #31, Davenport Consistory, KAABA Shrine and Ottumwa Shrine Club, Ottumwa Clown Unit and The Royal Order of the Jesters.

Surviving are two daughters, Marcia (Mike) Luetkemeyer of Keokuk and JaNan Clark of Mystic; and a grandson, Todd Clark of Mystic.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two half-brothers, Judson Lavant Gutheil and Harry George Gutheil; two half-sisters, Junell Victoria Dennis and Severna Annabelle DeVelaar; and son-in-law, Tom Clark.

Private Masonic services will be 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, at Reece Funeral Home in Ottumwa. For those not able to be inside the funeral home during the service with the family, you may watch the service live from the Reece Funeral Home Facebook page.  

Public graveside services will follow at Memorial Lawn Cemetery with military honors conducted by O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion and Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Limited open visitation for friends will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 2,  at Reece Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.rfh-ia.com.  

Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

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