WILTON — Robert Egil Olsen, 87, formerly of Salem, and most recently a resident of the Home of the Good Shepherd in Gansevoort, passed away peacefully early Tuesday morning, July 16, 2019.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Sally (Koivisto) Olsen; his son, Bruce (Dale) Olsen of Hebron; his grandchildren, Brooke (Christopher) Farrell, Justin (Heidi) Olsen, Kaitlin (John) Ellis, all of Granville, and Erik (Beth) Olsen of Los Angeles, California; 12 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, he was the son of Egil and Lillian (Boe) Olsen. In addition to his parents, Bob was predeceased by his sisters, Connie Colluci and Norma Connors.
At the age of 17, Bob enlisted into the U.S. Army. When he was 19, he proudly served as an infantryman in the famous Battle of Chosin Reservoir, which occurred during the Korean War. During the battle, Bob was decorated for bravery and received battlefield promotions. During his military career, he quickly rose in rank to become one of the youngest sergeant majors in the Army and was assigned as the regimental sergeant major of the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. After the Korean War, Bob returned to Brooklyn, where he married Sally Koivisto.
After 20 years of military service, he retired at the age of 37. Under the GI Bill, Bob attended Eastern Connecticut State College for undergraduate work and the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a master’s degree in education.
Following Bob’s education, he taught middle school students in the Voluntown, Connecticut Public School system for 20 years. During that time, Bob volunteered his time as an EMT and volunteer firefighter.
After his retirement from teaching, Bob and Sally moved to Salem to be close to their family. They enjoyed traveling the world together and working on their property in Salem. Bob was also a member of the VFW, the Korean War Veterans Association and the Honor Guard at the Saratoga National Cemetery.
Bob will be interred at Saratoga National Cemetery with full military honors.
To express online condolences, visit www.sbfuneralhome.com.