Obituary: Margaret Olson Webster
February 17, 2023
Margaret Olson Webster of Tamarack, Minnesota passed away peacefully in hospice on February 9, 2023 at the age of 83 of complications from thyroid lymphoma with her family by her side.
Born in Tamarack, Minnesota, to Esther and Oscar Clifford Olson, Margaret spent her life embracing service, family, community and the arts. A 1957 graduate of Cromwell High School, Margaret completed her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics and a master’s degree in Art from the University of Minnesota Duluth. She met her husband, Dan, through her work as a 4-H home extension agent in Sibley County, Minnesota. Margaret and Dan moved to northern Minnesota where she raised her family and worked for 20 years as an art and home economics teacher at McGregor High School. She served as a leader, teacher, and mentor in her church, local 4-H club, Lakeside Community Club, McGregor Community ARTS Inc. She was an inventor who owned her own sewing and publishing businesses and was the Lakeside Cemetery sexton for decades. Margaret was active in the Aitkin County DFL and was known to pen strongly-worded letters to the editor promoting care for our natural environment and endorsing social policies that support all people equally.
Love of the arts was a core theme in Margaret’s life. Her creative works took the form of paintings, drawings, sculpture, textiles, theater plays, poems, books, music, ceramics, and jewelry. Margaret collaborated with her brother Bud to create bas-relief panels that decorate Bethany Lutheran Church in Cromwell, Minnesota. She is the author of three books, including “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Cemetery” about her experiences and impressions as a cemetery sexton, “Are All the Heroes Gone?” about the Finnish epic poem the Kalevala, and an illustrated book of her original poems called “Life Times Six.”
Margaret lived her life as a celebration. She was unapologetically unconventional and stayed true to her strong convictions. She laughed often and could see beauty in everything and everyone. She showed love to her family, friends, and to a lifetime of cat companions by feeding them more than they could ever eat. She was beloved and will be dearly missed by many.
Margaret is preceded in death by her husband, Daniel, her parents, and all her siblings. She is survived by her children: Paul and his wife, Kris Carlson, and children, Aurora and Ted; Kaija and her husband, Dean Einerson; Perry and his children, Fraya and Kora, and their mother Samantha; and Andrew and his wife, Erin DeWitt, and children, Ahna and Cedar, along with many beloved nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Margaret’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 27 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cromwell, Minnesota.