Harriette “Muffy” Marshall Olson

Harriette “Muffy” Marshall Olson “flew away” (as she always liked to say) on November 22 after 94 years filled with fun, adventure and happiness.  She lived a life for the ages, as full as anyone could ever hope for.  There were lows such as the loss of her mother when she was ten and the loss of her beloved brother when his troop ship — the legendary U.S.S. Dorchester — was sunk by a German torpedo in 1943.  And there were highs, ranging from being a fashion model in Chicago during World War II, to what was probably the highest point of her life in the 1980’s as she ran her own business, Olson Quivira Real Estate, while her five children graduated from college and her husband, Colonel John E. Olson enjoyed his retirement.  She spent 25 years in real estate and loved nothing more than listing and selling homes from her lakeside house at the south end of Lake Quivira.  Her daughter Jackie eventually joined her in the business and took it over when she retired in the 1990’s.  
Muffy grew up as the daughter of Major General Richard J. Marshall who became the “right hand man” to American icon General Douglas MacArthur.  He was Deputy Chief of Staff to MacArthur and is said to have spent more time at MacArthur’s side throughout World War II than any other officer.  Muffy attended Gunston Hall Girls Finishing School along with classmate Margaret Truman and was part of the last graduating class in 1942 before the school closed because of the war.  She married West Point graduate John Olson (1917-2012), then a major, in 1947.  He had fought in the Philippines and survived Japanese prison camp.  They have now joined granddaughter Annie, and are survived by six grandchildren and their children, Eric, a lawyer in Missoula, Montana and wife Mary, Jackie, a real estate agent in Shawnee, Suzie, a science writer in Sonoma, California and husband Ralph, Randy, a filmmaker in Los Angeles, and Mike, the current Mayor of Lake Quivira and wife Lisa. 


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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Wednesday, Nov. 29th 2017 | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Harriette “Muffy” Marshall Olson”

  1. Dwane Wills Overland Park, KS Says:

    Condolences to the families on the passing of “Muffy” Olsen. Her name was one I will never forget. I was a loan officer at Anchor Savings in Shawnee back in the 1970’s & 1980’s. It was a pleasure to have known Muffy and assist her with loan closings for her real estate sales. What a great family history.

  2. Brooke Kramer Hertel Says:

    I remember meeting Mrs. Olson through her son in the early 1970’s She was a very warm, elegant and interesting woman. Truly a life well lived.
    My condolences to the family

  3. Rev. Don Wilson Says:

    I was privileged to serve for six months as an interim chaplain at Aberdeen Village during 2016. Muffy was indeed a “day-brightener.” Always dressed impeccably and had a cheerful greeting. She and I shared several visits. Her life was amazing. She was truly a gift to our world. It was a joy to have known her if even for a brief time. My prayers and thoughts are with the family.
    Don Wilson

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