BOX OF TREASURES – Haida artist Holly Churchill, of Ketchikan, shows Sitka High School senior Myles Magie a weaving technique on a cedar bark basket Wednesday in the Sitka High art room. Churchill finished a three-week residency today sponsored by the Sitka School District and Sealaska Heritage Institute's Sharing Our Box of Treasures" program. Her residency included work in the high school's new dual-credit program with UAS, the Northwest Coast Arts class, and sessions with Blatchley Middle School and the Sitka Native Education Program Culture Class. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

B.G. Olson

B.G. Olson, former Sitka resident, died April 16, 2014, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with his children at his side. He was 84.
 Remembered by his family as a much-loved husband and father, B.G. also was a teacher, writer, publisher, college president and an activist in community and statewide affairs, beginning with the Alaska statehood movement in the 1950’s.
 He was born in Bartlesville, Okla., June 15, 1929, son of Marion Franklin “Frank” Olson and Emma (McDonald) Olson.
He grew up in Kansas, graduated from Wichita East High School in 1947, and received his B.A. in journalism from Wichita State University in 1951. While a student, he performed with big bands as a guitar and bass player, and was editor of the Attica (Kansas) Independent newspaper.
B.G. was inducted into the U. S. Army in 1952. In the Army, he was an undercover investigator in the Counter Intelligence Corps, where one of his assignments was to investigate UFO sightings.
He met Lois Wedderien of Baltimore in 1952 while stationed in nearby Washington, D.C., and they were married in Tacoma, Wash., in 1953. In 1955 after his Army discharge, they moved to Alaska, where they lived most of their lives together.
 B.G. and Lois had three children: Marc, born in 1956; Tamara, in 1958; and Tim in 1963.

B.G.’s first job in Alaska was as editor for Alaska Sportsman Magazine in Ketchikan, where he also had a morning radio show. During this time B.G. participated in the statehood movement and reported on the Alaska Constitutional Convention, where he made professional contacts and friendships that lasted a lifetime.
With a partner, B.G. and Lois soon bought the Juneau Independent newspaper, and ran the business in 1957 and 1958.
With the passage of statehood, Convention president and Alaska’s first governor, Bill Egan, offered B.G. a job coordinating state Civil Defense projects, which B.G. held until moving to Seattle in 1961.
B.G. completed a master’s degree at the University of Washington and returned to Fairbanks in 1964 to work in the university relations department at the University of Alaska, where he started the University of Alaska Press.
B.G. also contributed to planning the 1967 Alaska Purchase Centennial celebration.
In 1967, the Olson family moved Outside. B.G. was president of William Jewell College, in Liberty, Mo.; worked at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.; and in 1970 moved the family to Coral Gables, where he helped found Florida International University.
While in Florida he attended the University of Miami Law School, where he received his juris doctor degree in 1974.
 In 1974 the family returned to Fairbanks, where B.G. became a professor in the Department of Journalism and Broadcasting.
He retired in 1979, started The Olson Associates, a public affairs research and consulting firm, and became involved with Epicenter Press, where eventually he was chairman of the board. He served many years on the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission and the Alaska History Commission.
B.G. also split his time between Alaska and Florida for two years while serving as director of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation.
 When Lois was offered work in the Pribilof Islands, they moved to Saint Paul, and lived there for several years. When she retired in 1996, they settled in Sitka. In 2010, B. G. and Lois moved to live near their daughter Tamara in Florida.
 B.G. was a longtime member of  the Elks Lodge, Rotary International and Pioneers of Alaska. He loved books and reading, and enjoyed playing guitar and ukulele, fishing, bird watching, and walking the trails and beaches in the Sitka area.
Over the years the Olsons owned summer cabins in Interior Alaska, and a vacation home on Captiva Island, Fla. In their later years, B. G. and Lois made long winter visits to Molokai, Hawaii.

 B.G. was preceded in death by Lois, who passed away in 2012. He is survived by son Marc Olson, of Juneau and Merida, Mexico; daughter and son-in-law Tamara and Jeff Burton of Jupiter, Fla.; son and daughter-in-law Tim and Heidi Olson of Juneau; granddaughter Brittany Burton of Denver, Colo.; grandson Tyler Burton of Nederland, Colo.; brother and sister-in-law Richard and Beverley Olson of Sultan, Wash.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Josephine and Robert K. Nead of Lutherville, Maryland, and many nieces and nephews.
 The Olson family may be contacted at P. O. Box 23022, Juneau, AK 99802, or by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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