Updated with service information on May 16, 2023

Sue passed away April 30, 2023, at Mesa View Regional Hospital, Mesquite, Nev. Sue was born in Byron Minn., on July 7, 1947, to Marvin and Winifred (Voll) Bausman. She was baptized and confirmed at the Methodist church in Bryon, Minn.

Sue was preceded in death by her parents, Marvin and Winifred (Voll) Bausman; her parents-in-law, Howie and Eleanor Olson; and her brother, Gary Bausman.

Sue is survived by her husband of 54 years, Jim (James) Olson; her brother’s wife, Linda Bausman; her niece, Jennifer Schultz (Eric) and family; her nephew, John Bausman (Christie) and family; her sister-in-law, Mary (Olson) Bockhorst (Paul) and family; and her brother-in-law, John Olson (Peggy).

She graduated from Byron High School and attended UW-La Crosse, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. She was a member of the honor fraternity Alpha Xi Delta. While attending college, she met her husband, Jim. They were married after graduation on July 12, 1969. She taught for one year at Kickapoo High School, and then was hired the next year at the Norwalk-Ontario School District/Brookwood High School, where she joined her husband, who was teaching high school history and social studies. Sue taught K–12 physical education, coached gymnastics and track and field, was an adviser for GAA and Lettermen’s Club, and was a student class advisor.

Her true passion was gymnastics. As a high school coach, her gymnastic teams dominated southwest Wisconsin gymnastics during a time when there was only one division for all of the schools in the state. Her 1977 team was undefeated during the regular season, and she won the Scenic Bluffs Gymnastics Conference Championship in 1977 and 1978. In 1978, her team won the regional meet and placed second at the section meet. Four of the team members from that team qualified for the state meet.

Besides coaching, Sue was also a gymnastics judge. Her judging career started at the high school level, where she was a state meet judge for the Wisconsin Athletic Association (WIAA) for several years. For her hard work and dedication to the sport, she was inducted into the Wisconsin Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2003–2004. After retiring from teaching, she continued to judge high school meets in addition to traveling many weekends to judge Big Ten Conference Meets.

She left her teaching career in 1978, when she and her husband, purchased the Alpine Inn on Grandad Bluff in La Crosse, Wis. While at the Alpine Inn, they teamed up with their friend, Jay Buckley, to form a baseball tour company, which is today the largest baseball tour company in the United States. They ran the Alpine Inn till 1986, when they purchased the Ford-Mercury dealership in Viroqua. They ran the Ford-Mercury dealership for 20 years. During this time, Sue returned to UW-La Crosse and earned her MBA, graduating with honors. 

Two memorable things that occurred while they owned the dealership were: 1. She was awarded the Ford Business Management award for her excellent performance as a Ford Dealer Accountant for 15 years of preparing, interpreting and submitting accurate financial data to the company. A tough job indeed! 2. They won tickets to attend Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans, where they watched the Packers defeat the New England Patriots 35–21.

In 1999, she and her husband discovered Mesquite, Nev. On one of their trips to Mesquite, they purchased a car rental company, which ran for three years, before they closed it up. In 2012, they made the decision to move to Mesquite. It was a perfect location for them. It had warmer weather and was close to the Utah National Parks and Triple-A baseball in Las Vegas. They had the moving van loaded and on the road when Sue was diagnosed with a blood lymphoma called Waldenstrom’s Macroblobulinemia. Many friends stepped up to allow Jim to meet the moving van in Mesquite while Sue began her chemotherapy at Gundersen Clinic in La Crosse. 

Once settled in Nevada, they decided to continue her cancer treatment in Wisconsin. With the help of a long list of friends, they were able to travel back to Wisconsin to continue getting treatment at Gunderson Clinic. In 2020, Sue suffered a setback in her battle with cancer and was hospitalized at Intermountain Heath in St. George, Utah. During this stay, they found a new team of oncology doctors and support staff at Intermountain Health who worked really hard to get Sue back on her feet until her passing. 

We can’t express enough our thanks and gratitude for Dr. John Farnen and his staff at Gundersen Clinic in La Crosse and Dr. Karen Lin, PA Matt Lundin, Dr. Kyle Gulbranson and their staffs at Intermountain Healthcare in St. George, Utah, and Mesa View Home Care in Mesquite, Nev., for the wonderful care and support for both Sue and me over the years. We would also like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the many friends who helped us throughout the years.

Her hobbies were reading, painting, adult color books and word searches.

A memorial service will be at the Mesquite United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 20, starting at 11 a.m. Streaming may be viewed at YouTube: Mesquite Methodist Church. Interment will be at the Bunkerville Cemetery.

A celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 4, at United Methodist Church in Viroqua. A luncheon will follow the celebration. The family invites you to leave a memory or message on their guestbook page at www.starmortuary.com.

Donations in memory of SueAnn may be made to Paula’s Purse Fund at Gundersen Medical Foundation, 1900 South Ave., Mailstop FDN-001, La Crosse, WI 54601 or online at https://foundation.gundersenhealth.org/paula-purse  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of SueAnn Olson, please visit our flower store at starmortuary.com.