Michael Olson, 83, of Drayden, Maryland passed away peacefully on April 5, 2023, at Hospice House of St. Mary’s in Callaway, Maryland.
Born on December 24, 1939, in Isle, Minnesota, he grew up with two older siblings in Aiken, Minnesota before moving to Mankato, Minnesota.
Michael attended Iowa State before entering the Jesuit seminary. He studied at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, eventually transferring to Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He made the decision to leave the seminary after having spent eight years, although he remained deeply spiritual throughout his life, and was active in St. George’s Catholic Church in Valley Lee, including heading the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) program for many years.
After he left the seminary, Michael moved to St. Mary’s County to be closer to his parents, who were then living in Dameron and teaching in St. Mary’s County. Michael took a position teaching art in Calvert County where he met his wife, Margaret. He then taught art at Chopticon High School until he built his kilns by hand, and started his pottery studio, Toddy Hall Pottery; thus, beginning a new chapter of his life as a professional artist.
His ceramic works include earthenware and stoneware with glaze in muted colors only found in nature. He also worked with archaeologists in Williamsburg, VA and St. Mary’s City, MD to reproduce seventeenth century pottery unearthed at these sites. His artistic endeavors went beyond ceramics and he was versatile in other mediums including oil paints and sculptures. His commissioned statue of an eagle can still be seen outside the entrance to Eagle Systems in California, MD.
Fiercely intellectual, his unbound curiosity took him in many different directions beyond art. Not only an accomplished painter, potter, and sculptor, but he was also a published columnist. He was often found at many a dinner table enjoying spirited debates on a variety of topics. He also enjoyed sailing, traveling the country with his family, working the land on the family farm, and making delicious meals for his family.
Michael is survived by his wife of 56 years, Margaret Olson; his sons; Andrew Olson of Leonardtown, MD, and Matthew Olson and his wife, Emi Sato of Kensington, MD; and his brother, Daniel Olson and his wife, Jeanne of Kalispell, Montana.
Michael was preceded in death by with mother, Mona Olson and father, Elmer Olson, of Dameron, MD; as well as his sister, Patricia Johanna Swanberg, of Great Falls, Montana.
A memorial service for Michael will be held on Friday, June 2nd at noon, at St George Catholic Church in Valley Lee, MD. Interment is private.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.