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Marjorie Ellen Lockhart Olson

May 12, 1922 - October 6, 2019

Service Date October 11, 2019

Church Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home

Memorial services will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, October 11, 2019 at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home.

Marjorie Olson of Rapid City, passed away at the age of 97 on Sunday, October 6, 2019.

Marjorie Lockhart was born on a farm in Grant County, eastern South Dakota on May 12, 1922.
Early on, Marjorie was interested in horses. She fondly remembered her mother putting her on an old horse called Jack and riding him around and around the yard. She said that when her father would bring a team of horses in from the field that she would put her nose up close to the horses and smell them. She thought horses, “smelled so good.” Adjoining the farm was a combination church and school. Marjorie began attending school there, but did not like it because she was painfully shy.

After she attended school for only one month, Marjorie’s father, Louis, who had studied mechanical engineering at the University of South Dakota, decided he was not suited to farming and moved nineteen miles to Milbank, South Dakota where Louis’ father lived and soon also to Charles City, Iowa where Marjorie continued school in the first grade. Although they had very little spending money, Marjorie was somehow able to get her own horse. She took care of the horse in summertime and in winter a friend on a farm boarded the horse. She was never bored when she had a horse. She dreamed of being a cowgirl and enjoyed western movies.

Marjorie would spend part of each summer with her grandparents who then lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While there she became friends with a girl her age named Jean, who also had a horse, named Speed, who she said, “was not very speedy.” Not long after graduating from high school, Marjorie was in Sioux Falls with her friend Jean. Preparing for a day of riding they went to the farm where Jean kept her horse. While there they happened to see a young man who worked for the farmer driving a wagon loaded with hay. Marjorie was attracted by the athletic young man. She learned his name was Leonard Olson. They got to know each other and a relationship blossomed.

Leonard Olson finished college and joined the Army in 1943, but while on leave in 1944 he came home to Sioux Falls and he and Marjorie were married. Like many couples during the war they were separated for long periods of time; however, they did manage to live together for a while when Leonard was in training in Mobile, Alabama. Leonard went off to war and served in the Pacific until the war ended. He returned home to Marjorie in 1946 and they moved into a very little house in Sioux Falls.

Soon they were able to move to a small acreage on the edge of Sioux Falls where they acquired a number of horses. Although Leonard was a postal employee, home was a farm with not just horses, but at various times, cows, pigs, and chickens, and of course, two children.
In 1959 Marjorie achieved her “cowgirl” dream when they moved west, with their horses, to the Black Hills. They lived near Nemo in a national forest where there were endless trails for all the horseback riding a cowgirl could want. Majorie and Leonard remained in the Nemo area for more than twenty years.

After Leonard retired from the Post Office, Marjorie and Leonard decided that they had enough of winters and moved to Arizona where they were very active. At one time they even owned small motorcycles which they used to explore desert trails. While there, they also traveled extensively across the US in a pickup camper.

Unfortunately, time went on and Leonard’s health began to fail. In 1997 Marjorie and Leonard moved back to Rapid City so that Leonard could obtain medical care. Leonard passed away the next year. Marjorie continued to live in Rapid City where her son, Gregory and his family lived.

Marjorie never turned down a chance to play cards with friends. She also enjoyed trips into the Black Hills, especially in the fall, and trips to Deadwood anytime where the penny slot machines called her name.

Marjorie is survived by her two sons, Greg of Rapid City, and David of Manhattan Beach, California, three grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

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