Johnny Quinton Olson passed away on Saturday July 10, 2021, at the age of 75 years old, due to complications from Covid-19. Johnny was born on May 3, 1946, in Hettinger, North Dakota to Einar and Rose Olson. He was the eighth of 12 children. The family eventually moved to Eureka when he was 13 years old.

Johnny attended Eureka High School and began boxing, following in the footsteps of his older brothers Rich and Jimmy. He was well known locally and won many bouts, including two Golden Gloves. On July 2, 1966, at 21 years old, he married his first wife, Carol Molver, and had his first child, Sandra Kay. Though they divorced soon after, they remained great friends. Johnny joined the United States Army in 1968, where he served as an Exhibition Fighter. He met and married Gwen Faulk in 1971 and had his second child, Raeleen Lynn. After a second divorce, he spent some time traveling and working all over Northern California, also visiting North Dakota to stay close to his roots and his extended family. When he finally returned to Eureka, he met the love of his life Kathy McBride. They spent the next 30 years together and had Johnny’s third child, Tamera Kate.

Johnny worked at RAO Construction, the family-owned business, until his retirement. He also worked at Redwood Acres Raceway, another family run-endeavor, supervising the safety crew for the stock car races. He traveled the West Coast with his nephew, who was racing the NASCAR Southwest Tour Series. He attended as many NASCAR races as possible, cheering on his favorite driver, Jimmie Johnson.

Johnny played softball for many years and was a proud member of the Clampers. He also loved restoring old wooden furniture and could always be found working on a project. In recent years Johnny’s love for boxing would bring him back into the ring, this time as a referee for “Fight Nights” at Cher-ae Heights.

His easy going and helpful attitude made him lots of friends, and his family meant the world to him. He always found the time to spend with the kids or grandkids. He will me dearly missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by his brothers, Richard Olson and Merle Olson; sisters, Veronica Ward, Paulette Papageorge, and Patty Nichols; children, Sandra Hopkins, Raeleen Olson, and Tamera Olson (Matt Scott); grandchildren, Alicia Rose, Jerrica Fessler (Rob Fessler), Brittney Holland (Jeff Holland), and Nathan Scott; and great grandchildren, Tristin, Jacob, Aiden, Hailey, Judah, McKinzie, Boston, and Riley. Johnny also had countless nieces and nephews, all whom he loved dearly. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Larry, Jim, and Marv, along with his sisters, Charlotte, Mona, and Marty.

A celebration of life potluck will honor his memory at The Moose Lodge in Eureka on August 21 at 1:30 p.m. We know that Johnny knew so many people, and we would love for you to come to share your stories and memories.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Johnny Olson’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.