Barbara Esther Olson

Ongoing Tribute Fund

Barb Olson Photo

Barbara Esther Olson, was a loving and proud mother, grammy, aunt, and cousin to many close family members. On July 16, 2022, at home surrounded by her loved ones, Barb passed away after a 10-month fight with leiomyosarcoma. It seems there are never the right words or enough words to appropriately encompass the loss of someone so close and so important to you, especially when their passing feels so random and untimely. She was a guiding light of love, compassion, and service to many, and her memory is a beautiful influence to how we will move on with our lives now that she’s passed on. Barb was born February 1, 1949, in Geneseo, IL. She was the daughter of Hubert and Dorothy (Stewart) Olson. Barb grew up on a farm in Osco, IL and moved with her family to Cambridge to finish high school following the sudden loss of her father. Barb graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago, and highlights of her working career were managing a hotel in the Orlando, FL area and owning a large cleaning business for over 25 years in the Quad Cities area.

She loved to travel and visited China, England, Italy, and most states throughout the USA. She also enjoyed participating in book clubs, card clubs, playing mahjong, being active in church life, hosting parties, and especially enjoyed daily life with her beloved grandchildren. She was a member of PEO Chapter LH. Her greatest joy was spending time with family and friends. She made everyone feel important and loved, even on our toughest days. Barb had a rich 73 years of life, years of countless hugs, fits of snorting laughter, misremembered song lyrics, tears, amazing hugs, stories, and boundless generosity. The memory of her laugh and joy will continue to bring smiles to our faces for all of the years to come. 

Those left to honor her memory are her sister Joann Munson, Kirkwood, MO; brother Pat (MaryAnn) Murphy, Surprise, AZ; daughters Christine (Kurt) Zimmerman, Bettendorf, IA and Abigail Souder, Iowa City, IA; grandchildren Cameron and Kaitlin Zimmerman; as well as her dear nieces. We miss you everyday Barb. Thank you for the gift of your life and your love, shared with us. 



Susan Gallagher
Eisai Teammates
Matt Schwind
Michelle McMahon
Michael Zimmerman
Sharon Johnson
Matt Behrens
Deborah O’Brien
Marlene Gantt
Patrick Wendt
Charlotte Bowers-Harris and        Douglas Harris
Laurel and Joe Pollentier
Pamela Gustafson
Christine and William Kushner
Dana and Todd Steinhart
John Ruhl
J. Taylor
Kristyn and Kurt TJaden
Theresa and Paul Youngstrum
Amy Winkler and Dean                    Goehrig
Mary and Robert Funk
Diane and Jayson Lowe
Christine and Kurt                             Zimmerman
Iris and Bernard Wagner
Patricia Debacker
Shirley and Gary Forret
Beth and Jeff Forret
Mr. and Mrs. Bourne