Abbot Pennings HS 1968
2021 Athletic Division
Dan Olson was born in 1950 in Green Bay, the second son of Curtis and Barbara Olson. He grew up in Allouez, attending St. Matthew Grade School and Abbot Pennings High School. As he strolled through the main hallway on his first day of high school, Olson spotted a plaque on the wall. It was the Fred Dillon Award given each year to the outstanding senior athlete. As Olson's eyes focused on the plaque, he thought, "God, I would like to win that award."
Olson excelled in track and field, winning a state championship and setting a Class B record in the discus in 1967 and breaking that record the following year when he also finished first in the shot put. In 1968, Olson was also named the outstanding performer at the conference relays and conference track meet finishing first in shot put, discus and high jump. Olson was a two-way starter in football as well and a starting forward on the 1968 varsity basketball team that was an unanimous preseason pick to be last in the conference and finished third at state. By the grace of God, Olson realized his high school dream and was chosen as the recipient of the Class of 1968 Fred Dillon Award.
After high school, Olson attended the University of South Dakota and was a member of the football team for two years. In 1971, he transferred to the University of Missouri, graduating with honors and a B.S. in business in the spring of 1973.
After college, Olson continued to be active in sports as a member of the Green Bay Rugby Football Club for several years and participated in many athletic events, including a runner-up finish in the first Green Bay Area Tough Man Contest.
Olson worked for Fort Howard Paper Company, now known as Georgia Pacific, from 1974 to 1977. From there he worked in the family furniture business for two years. In 1979, Olson started a floor covering business, which he has owned and operated ever since.
In December of 1995, Olson met Laurie Toonen on a blind date and they have been together ever since. The couple lives in Ledgeview and share four children and seven grandchildren. Their activities include reading, biking, kayaking, walking, weightlifting, putzing, flipping channels, and hanging out with friends and family, especially the grandkids.
Since 2007, Olson has been a volunteer for International Children’s Fund, a nonprofit organization based in Neenah, which is making an incredible difference in the lives of desperately poor children and their families throughout the world. Olson is also involved in the pro-life movement and can be seen Friday mornings from 9-10 a.m. on the Oneida Street sidewalk in front of the Planned Parenthood facility.
Olson would like to thank the Triton Academic & Athletic Hall of Fame selection committee for this consideration. He would also like to thank Joe Bray for putting together his nomination packet as well as the teachers, teammates, coaches, classmates and friends who wholeheartedly responded to Bray's requests for support. Olson would also like to pay tribute to his late brother, Steve, who paved the way for Olson's athletic success.
Lastly, Olson would like to acknowledge two of his former teachers and mentors no longer here, who made Abbot Pennings High School a special place: Fr. Gery Meehan and Sister Louise Hunt, then known to students as Sister Bonaventure. To Olson and many others, they were the embodiment of what Abbot Pennings meant when he said, “let us love one another."