How do I even begin to express what you meant to me and to every other person that you crossed paths with in your too short life with us here on earth?
You were whoever you needed to be to help others in their times of crises/needs (a friend, a handyman, a fireman, a comedian and so on) - never looking to be repaid but rather living under the "Pay it Forward" principle of life.
You were the true, faithful and living example of "what is a friend?" When anyone who had the privilege of calling you a friend hears the song "You've Got a Friend" from now on forward, I have no doubt that an image of you, Donald smiling and laughing will cross our minds. You were just that kind of guy.
You dedicated your life to helping others - whether friend or stranger - as can be attested to by the plethora of tributes on the internet within moments of hearing the devasting news of your too early passing. The best part was you didn't do it for the accolades - you did it purely out of love. You dedicated yourself to the GCP/NHP community and its people in so many ways: GCP fireman for27 years; consistently particpated in Homecoming Float activities at NHP MHS long after you graduated (I dont think there is a single member of the Class of '85 that can now, nor has ever, been able to see a paper flower and not instantly asociate it with you and our homecoming float parties and awesome floats) just to name of few ways you made our community better.
You were happy personified and could always find a way to make someones tears turn into laughter and their frowns turn into smiles. And just because you are not physically with us any longer, I know without a doubt that you will be watching over us and sending us signs to remind us to live life to its fullest and enjoy evey fleeting moment.
You lived your life enthusiastically, full of love, laughter, happiness, adventure, joking, hugs and kisses, enjoying the little things in life as much as the big things, and most importantly of all - quality time with family and friends (especially your beloved bride Kathleen - whom you adored with all your heart and soul and were man enough to let the whole world know that she stole your heart from the moment you laid eyes on her).
You were one of the true remaining gentlemen in a time when it was more common for people to think of themselves than of others and I am so grateful that my son was blessed to have gotten to know you and see this aspect of you these past few years. You were a wonderful role model for the many kids (or should I say - young adults) you interacted with on a daily basis and I am sure many of those young men at GCP Fire Dept became involved in the Youth Program as a result of your example.
You were...too many things to list here... but above all you were (and always will be) loved by so many for being true to who you were at all times and you will be greatly missed by all of us.
D: death will never take him away from us. A part of him will forever live within the hearts of all his loved ones. He has left an indelible mark upon our lives and our hope is that we can live our lives as honest, loving and faithful as Donald did.
R.I.P. Donald Olsen, Jr
Oct 1, 2014 - Heaven gained an angel
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