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Wilma Olson


On Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Wilma "Billie" V. (Coates) Gould Olson, entered into her heavenly home, there to be welcomed by her Lord and Savior and her beloved husband, Richard. Funeral services: 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at Springville United Methodist Church, Springville, conducted by the Rev. Sue-Ellen Sherman. The family
will greet friends for one hour before the service on Monday. Burial: Springville Cemetery, Springville.
Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Dec. 24, 1921, Wilma was the daughter of James and Amelia (Lister) Coates. She graduated in 1940 from McKinley High School. Billie attended art school during the summer in Chicago. She then attended Cedar Rapids Business College and took various jobs as a secretary. Billie soon met and married George M. Gould, who worked for Barron Motors Co. They had three children and eventually moved to Iowa City, where she spent 10 years working for the Iowa Geological Survey. After divorcing, Billie moved back to Cedar Rapids, where she worked for Iowa Electric (Alliant Energy) Co., and retired after 10 years. Later, after attending her 50th high school reunion, she had a storybook romance with Richard "Dick" E. Olson, married in Hot Springs, Ark., then moved to Des Moines, where they resided for a number of years. They spent winters in Sun City, Ariz., before moving to Springville.
Billie had many hobbies, including storytelling, bowling, dancing, professional clowning, boating, fishing, writing stories (one of which was published in the magazine, "Wee Wisdom"), piano, accordion and especially her love for reading. She learned to fly an airplane while in her early 50s.
Billie was best known for her talents as an artist, using many mediums, such as woodcarving, sculpting, basket weaving, stained glass and painting. Painting was her best achieved and most loved hobby, and she painted many pictures over the years for herself and for others. While still able to attend Springville United Methodist Church, Billie painted a portrait on the wall of the children's room of Jesus surrounded by children. Her paintings also won numerous blue ribbons at the Linn County Fair and art shows. Whatever Billie did, she did with confidence, zeal and talent.
She loved her husband, Dick; her children; grandkids; and her dogs, Nikki, Ben, Barney and Benji.
Although she will be truly missed, Billie leaves a legacy of laughter, love of life and love of people.
Those left to mourn her absence and honor her memory include her children, Michael (Jan) Gould of Florida, Deborah (Tom) Hilleary of Portland, Ore., and Melissa (John) Davidson of Whittier; her grandchildren, Kristine, Jeff, Robin and Sarah; stepgrandchildren, Stacy and Kristen; numerous great-grandchildren and stepgreat-grandchildren; her sister, Ruth Lauther; and her very good friend, Pat Kelchen.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Ella Watson; and her husband, Richard.
The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to all the employees at the Anamosa Care Center who touched Billie's life and who took the extra time to talk, laugh and give her special care. They also would like to thank Above & Beyond Hospice for all their care.
Memorials may be directed to Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, 2070 Peachtree Industrial Ct., Suite 101, Atlanta, GA 30341-2240.
Please share a memory of Wilma at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.