November 6, 1924 – April 5, 2010
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Elise (Lise) Olsen of Ganges, BC, on Monday, April 5, 2010, in the presence of and surrounded by the love of her family.
Lise was predeceased by Oluf, her perfect soulmate and partner in adventure for 53 years. A very proud and loving mother, Lise will be missed but always remembered with love, admiration and pride by son Ken Olsen and his wife, Susan, of LaConner, Washington, daughter Linda Olsen of Vancouver, and daughter Kirstine Hughes, her husband Lindsay, and their daughter Sarah, of Redmond, Washington.
Born in Copenhagen, Lise began her adventuring at an early age. She was a national champion in badminton as a teen, active in the Danish Resistance during WWII, and became a member of the first crew with Scandinavian Air Service following a stint in England as a student nurse. After returning to Denmark with her infant son, Ken, Lise pursued careers in interior decorating, modeling, and assistance in radio production. She was discovered by Oluf, a young and handsome Danish American engineer, who had been posted to Europe in support of NATO, where he was simultaneously discovering his roots in Denmark. Finding Lise there was his bonus. “Ole” swept her off her feet, happy to take her and her young son, Ken, to join him in his own adventures. The young family began in Denmark, but soon moved to Germany, then to the US, and then to Vancouver in the early ’70s where they became avid sailors and members of RVYC. They soon discovered Salt Spring Island, and were so inspired by the island and its friendly community that they decided to retire here, following 10 years on assignment in Saudi Arabia. In 1999, Ole and Lise bought and refitted a 100-year old Dutch barge and embarked on a 3 year cruise of the European waterways.
Lise enjoyed life in the Ganges community, and was grateful for her many very dear friends with whom she was able to pursue two of her greatest passions, needlework and bridge. Lise will be remembered for her elegance, her love of fine food, her generosity of knowledge and spirit, and for her stories of her greatest adventure, her life with Ole.
The Olsen family is forever grateful to the excellent, caring staff of Lady Minto Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in support of the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation.
A celebration of Lise’s life will be held on May 1, 2010 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m at All Saints By The Sea, 110 Park Drive, Ganges.