05/23/1928 - 05/05/2012
Paul Joseph Olsen, former Fire Chief of the Spokane Fire Department, peacefully passed away on May 5, 2012 at the age of 83.
He was born on May 23, 1928, in Spokane, Washington to Herbert L. and Margerite Olsen.
Paul was born into a Spokane Fire Department family, his father having retired as a Fire Captain.
His early years were spent in the Hillyard neighborhood.
He attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School, and graduated from Rogers High School in 1947.
After high school Paul worked at URM Warehouse as a receiving clerk and truck driver until he joined the Spokane Fire Department in January, 1951.
He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1958, Captain in 1963, Battalion Chief in 1965, Deputy Fire Chief in 1972, Assistant Chief in 1977, and took office as Fire Chief in March 1981.
He retired in 1988 after 37 years with the Spokane Fire Department.
Paul enjoyed golf and served as coordinator for the Fire Department Credit Union Golf Tournament each summer for many years.
He and his beloved wife, Vivian, enjoyed many years of golfing together in Hawaii after his retirement.
He was a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Western Fire Chief’s Association, international Association of Firefighters, Downtown Rotary, Salvation Army Board of Directors, and Spokane Chamber of Commerce.
Paul is survived by his wife of 60 years, Vivian; daughter Kathleen Paradis of Spokane; granddaughter Erica (Jon) Chasse; great grandchildren Jesse and Ben Chasse; sister Patricia Erickson; sister- in-laws Charlotte Munn of Florida, Barbara (Don) Toney of Ankeny, Iowa; and brother-in-law Orville (Sheila) Kellmer of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
A memorial service will be held at 1pm., Wednesday, May 23 at Mt.
Spokane Church, 6311 E. Mt.
Spokane Park Drive, Mead, WA.
Contributions can be made to the Salvation Army Sally’s House, PO Box 9108, Spokane, WA 99209.
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