SCIRCLEVILLE – Joe Olson, 70, of Scircleville, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at his home as loved ones sang the sweet song “Softly and Tenderly!”
Joe was born on Nov. 7, 1949, in Clinton, Ind., to Walter Franklin Olson and Rebecca Ruby (Simmons) Olson. He married Nancy Elizabeth McCarter on Nov. 7, 1980.
Joe graduated from Rockville High School (Indiana) in 1967 and was a standout athlete in football and basketball. He was a 10-year member of 4-H. His first job was shining shoes in Buck Skelton’s barber shop in Rockville. Then at age 12, he and his best friend, Johnny Montgomery, began baling hay for farmers all over west central Indiana.
Joe served in the U.S. Army Reserves for seven years and was a recruiting sergeant. He attended Southeastern Bible College in Lakeland, Fla. He pastored and pioneered churches for the Assemblies of God denomination for several years. He also was pastor at Forest Baptist Church in Forest, Ind., for three years.
He retired from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in 2015 after 27 years of service. Joe started at INDOT in 1979 as an equipment operator and moved up the management ranks to foreman, equipment manager and general foreman. He was INDOT’s Sub District manager in Albany when he retired.
Joe was a former member of the Tipton Lions Club and former member of Hoosier Heartlanders Camping Club. He was known for being quite the handyman, as he could fix or make just about anything.
Joe started playing guitar at the age of 12 and played in his home church band in his youth. It was Joe’s love for music that led to meeting the love of his life, Nancy. Nancy and Joe met thanks to Nancy’s dear friend, Beth Stewart. Beth was in Forest to visit her Uncle Earl Scott and stopped by to see Nancy! She asked Nancy if she was still singing and playing guitar. Beth said her husband, Dennis, worked with a guy at INDOT who had a band called Continental Cowboys and they were looking for a female singer. Beth gave Nancy a phone number to call to set up an audition. Nancy called, and of course, it was love at first sight! After they married, Joe and Nancy had special services at many churches of many denominations, ministering through their music. For 15 years, Joe and Nancy traveled, playing Country and Gospel music with their band, Country Sunshine, across Indiana and neighboring states. As their two sons, the oldest, James Robert (J.R.) and Joey grew older, they also traveled with their parents as they entertained others. In fact, J.R. eventually played drums in the band until he tragically passed away at the age of 14 in 1995. After losing their son and brother, Joe, Nancy and Joey have been known to reach out to comfort others who have had a loss of a child or sibling.
While Joe loved music, he certainly enjoyed spending time with family, especially his three beautiful granddaughters, Etta Jo, Agnes Jean and Nola James Olson. He also was very proud of the accomplishments of his daughter from a previous marriage, Monica Olson of Knoxville, Tenn., and his son Joey, Des Moines, Iowa. Joe was also known for being genuine. When he asked someone about school, work or life in general, he truly wanted to know about your life. He cared! He also loved helping others, especially his mother-and-father-in-law, Deloris McCarter and the late Jim McCarter.
He is survived by his loving wife, Nancy; son, Joey (Erin); daughter, Monica; three granddaughters; brother, Walt (Marsha) Olson of Austin, Texas; mother-in-law, Deloris McCarter; sisters-in-law, Pam Light, Susan McCarter and Teresa (Hinders) McCarter; brothers-in-law, James E. McCarter Jr., Fred McCarter and Joe Light; several nieces and nephews that he loved dearly; his puppy dog Champ; and dear friends too numerous to mention.
He was preceded in death by his son J.R.; his parents; his granny, Nola Edith Simmons, who helped raise him; and father-in-law, James E. “Big Red” McCarter Sr..
Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at Stout & Son Funeral Home, 200 E. Main St. in Russiaville, with Pastor Joey Olson officiating. Burial will follow in St. Paul Cemetery in Forest.
Friends may visit with the family from 4-7 p.m. Monday, July 20, 2020, at the funeral home.
Friends are invited to attend via webcast by clicking the link on Joe’s obituary page on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Stout & Son Funeral Home to assist the family with funeral expenses.
Messages of condolence may be left online at stoutandson.com.