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Elaine Marie (Hanss) Olson

April 1, 1937 March 26, 2024
Elaine Marie (Hanss) Olson
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Obituary for Elaine Marie (Hanss) Olson

Elaine Olson passed away peacefully on March 26, 2024, after a short battle with multiple myeloma. She maintained her kindness, sense of humor, powerful personality, and love of family and friends to the end despite her trying illness and sometimes stressful medical care.

Known for her wonderful combination of boldness, spirit, compassion, and sense of adventure, Elaine made an unforgettable impact on everyone who knew her. Elaine’s family asks that she be remembered for the positivity and inspiration she brought to others in life. She was preceded in death by her husband James Olson, her parents Joseph Hanss and Margaret (McNamara) Hanss, and her brothers Robert and Eugene. She is survived by her children Keith, Krista, Paul, and Katie, as well as her grandchildren Zea, Manu, and Luke who will all miss her dearly.

Elaine was born at DePaul Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and was the youngest of the three siblings. As children in their northern St. Louis neighborhood, they spent much of their time playing with neighbor kids and helping their parents with the family grocery store. Her first family vacation came at about age 11 when the family drove to Colorado for a nearly 2-week trip to the mountains. Her parents instilled the siblings with a strong sense of adventure and personal empowerment that served them well throughout their lives.

After graduating from Incarnate Word high school, Elaine enrolled at St. John’s Hospital to become a nurse. She referred to the three years she spent getting her nursing license as some of the busiest and happiest of her life during which she made many lifelong friends. The decision to become a nurse was a fateful one as it allowed her and several friends the opportunity to move to California. They spent several years working in the Los Angeles area before moving to work at the hospital in Yosemite National Park where she met her future husband, Jim. They were married in the park on October 22, 1966. The growing family stayed there until 1972 when they moved to the Everglades National Park in south Florida, and on to Denver, Colorado in 1977.

Elaine enjoyed many activities and hobbies that she shared with her family and passed on to her children, including a love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, and a passion for golf that continued throughout her life. She enjoyed a very active social life with many friends and groups that she helped organize activities for and inspired consistent fun. Her lifelong Catholic faith and practice brought her peace and joy along with great friends, social activities, and many volunteer opportunities. She also devoted time and energy to activism and social justice efforts, especially as a long-time member of the League of Women Voters.

A memorial service will be held at the Chapel at Ellis Family Services (13436 West Arbor Place, Littleton, Colorado 80127), on Monday, April 1, 2024, at 1:00 PM. A reception will follow at 2:30 PM at the event center at Concordia on the Lake (6155 S. Ammons Way, Littleton, CO 80123).

Elaine was a passionate advocate and volunteer for accessible healthcare and housing. In lieu of flowers, we welcome donations in her honor to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. ( For 30 years, the Coalition has provided integrated healthcare, housing and services to those in need. Elaine spent many years volunteering at the Coalition's Stout Street Clinic.

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Previous Events

Prayer Service




1:00 PM 4/1/2024 1:00:00 PM
The Chapel at Ellis Family Services

13436 West Arbor Place
Littleton, CO 80127

Services will conclude at the Chapel.

The Chapel at Ellis Family Services
13436 West Arbor Place Littleton 80127 CO
United States

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